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Profits And Margins Plunge In Q1: Expect More Margin Contraction As Fed Squeezes Inflation

Profits And Margins Plunge In Q1: Expect More Margin Contraction As Fed Squeezes Inflation By Joseph Carson, former chief economist AllianceBernstein Based on the preliminary data from the GDP report, operating profits fell roughly 10% in Q1 relative to Q4. A decline of that magnitude would drop aggregate company profits back to the Q1 2021 level, or nearly $300 billion below the record level of Q4 2021. The plunge in operating profits reflects a sharp drop in margins. Real operating profit margins for Non-Financial Companies hit a record high of 15.9% in Q2 2021, dropped to 15.2% in Q4, and probably fell 100 to 150 basis points in Q1 2022. To be sure, Q1 earnings reports from large companies such as Amazon, Wal-Mart, and Target confirm a sharp contraction in operating margins due to rising input costs. More margin contraction lies ahead, especially if the Fed successfully squeezes inflation to 2%, down from 8%, and limits any significant fallout in the labor markets. For reported consumer price inflation to drop 600 basis points over the next year or so, producer prices for many companies involved in production and distribution would drop twice as much, if not more. And if overall labor costs are unchanged, the hit to profit margins, or the ratio of profits from sales after all expenses, will be significant. Past cyclical slowdowns offer some perspective on significant margin contraction when monetary policy simultaneously slows demand and price inflation. For example, in 2000, consumer price inflation dropped 200 basis points, but producer prices for finished goods and intermediae materials fell between 600 and 1000 basis points. That dropped triggered the most significant cyclical contraction in real profit margins (700 basis points). The potential disruption to business operations in 2022 is more significant than in 2000 because the Fed faces a bigger inflation problem. That means a substantial decline in operating margins is the most considerable risk to the equity market. Investors forewarned. Tyler Durden Sun, 05/22/2022 - 12:10.....»»

Category: dealsSource: nytMay 22nd, 2022

Futures Slide Before Fed Minutes, Dollar Jumps As China Lockdown Fears Return

Futures Slide Before Fed Minutes, Dollar Jumps As China Lockdown Fears Return Another day, another failure by markets to hold on to even the smallest overnight gains: US futures erased earlier profits and dipped as traders prepared for potential volatility surrounding the release of the Federal Reserve’s minutes which may provide insight into the central bank’s tightening path, while fears over Chinese lockdowns returned as Beijing recorded more Covid cases and the nearby port city of Tianjin locked down a city-center district. Contracts on the Nasdaq 100 and the S&P 500 were each down 0.5% at 7:30 a.m. in New York after gaining as much as 1% earlier, signaling an extension to Tuesday’s slide that followed a profit warning from Snap. In premarket trading, Nordstrom jumped 10% after raising its forecast for earnings and revenue for the coming year suggesting that the luxury consumer is doing quite fine even as most of the middle class has tapped out; analysts highlighted the department store’s exposure to higher-end customers.Meanwhile, Wendy’s surged 12% after shareholder Trian Fund Management, billionaire Nelson Peltz' investment vehicle, said it will explore a transaction that could give it control of the fast-food chain. Here are the most notable premarket movers in the US: Urban Outfitters (URBN US) shares rose as much as 5.7% in premarket trading after Nordstrom’s annual forecasts provided some relief for the beaten down retail sector. Shares rallied even as Urban Outfitters reported lower-than-expected profit and sales for the 1Q. Best Buy (BBY US) shares could be in focus as Citi cuts its price target on electronics retailer to a new Street-low of $65 from $80, saying that there continues to be “significant risk” to 2H estimates. Dick’s Sporting Goods (DKS US) sinks as much as 20% premarket after the retailer cut its year adjusted earnings per share and comparable sales guidance for the full year. Peers including Big 5 Sporting Goods, Hibbett and Foot Locker also fell after the DKS earnings release 2U Inc. (TWOU US) shares drop as much as 4.3% in US premarket trading after Piper Sandler downgraded the online educational services provider to underweight from neutral, with broker flagging growing regulatory risk. Verrica Pharma (VRCA US) shares slump as much as 61% in US premarket trading after the drug developer received an FDA Complete Response Letter for its VP-102 molluscum treatment. Shopify’s (SHOP US) U.S.-listed shares fell 0.7% in premarket trading after a second prominent shareholder advisory firm ISS joined its peer Glass Lewis to oppose the Canadian company’s plan to give CEO Tobi Lutke a special “founder share” that will preserve his voting power. Cazoo (CZOO US) shares declined 3.3% in premarket trading as Goldman Sachs initiated coverage of the stock with a neutral recommendation, saying the company is well positioned to capture the significant growth in online used car sales. CME Group (CME US Equity) may be in focus as its stock was upgraded to outperform from market perform at Oppenheimer on attractive valuation and an “appealing” dividend policy. US stocks have slumped this year, with the S&P 500 flirting with a bear market on Friday, as investors fear that the Fed’s active monetary tightening will plunge the economy into a recession: as Bloomberg notes, amid surging inflation, lackluster earnings and bleak company guidance have added to market concerns. The tech sector has been particularly in focus amid higher rates, which mean a bigger discount for the present value of future profits. The Nasdaq 100 index has tumbled to the lowest since November 2020 and its 12-month forward price-to-earnings ratio of 19.7 is the lowest since the start of the pandemic and below its 10-year average. “The consumer in the US is still showing really good signs of strength,” said Michael Metcalfe, global head of macro strategy at State Street Global Markets. “Even if there is a slowdown it’s going to be quite mild,” he said in an interview with Bloomberg Television. Meanwhile, Barclays Plc strategists including Emmanuel Cau see scope for stocks to fall further if outflows from mutual funds pick up, unless recession fears are alleviated. Retail investors have also not yet fully capitulated and “still look to be buying dips in old favorites in tech/growth,” the strategists said. "Our central scenario remains that a recession can be avoided and that geopolitical risks will moderate over the course of the year, allowing equities to move higher,” said Mark Haefele,  chief investment officer at UBS Global Wealth Management. “But recent market falls have underlined the importance of being selective and considering strategies that mitigate volatility." The Fed raised interest rates by 50 basis points earlier this month -- to a target range of 0.75% to 1% -- and Chair Jerome Powell has signaled it was on track to make similar-sized moves at its meetings in June and July. Investors are now awaiting the release of the May 3-4 meeting minutes later on Wednesday to evaluate the future path of rate hikes. However, in recent days, traders have dialed back the expected pace of Fed interest-rate increases over worse-than-expected economic data and the selloff in equities. Sales of new US homes fell more in April than economists forecast, and the Richmond Fed’s measure of business activity dropped to a two-year low. The yield on the 10-year Treasury slipped for a second day to 2.73%. “Given the risks to growth and our view that positive real rates will be unmanageable for any significant length of time, we expect the Fed to deliver less tightening in 2022 overall than it and markets currently expect,” Salman Ahmed, global head of macro and strategic asset allocation at Fidelity International, wrote in a note. In Europe, stocks pared an earlier advance but hold in the green while the dollar rallies. The Stoxx 600 gave back most of the morning’s gains with autos, financial services and travel weighing while miners and utilities outperformed. The euro slid as comments by European Central Bank officials indicated policy normalization will be gradual. The ECB is in the midst of a debate over how aggressive it should act to rein in inflation. Here are some of the most notable European movers today: SSE shares rise as much as 6.3% after strong guidance and amid reports that electricity generators are likely to escape windfall taxes being considered by the U.K. government. Air France-KLM jumps as much as 13% in Paris after falling 21% on Tuesday as the airline kicked off a EU2.26 billion rights offering. Mining and energy stocks outperform the broader market in Europe as iron ore rebounded, while oil rose after a report that showed a decline in US gasoline stockpiles. Rio Tinto gains as much as 2.3%, Anglo American +2.6%, TotalEnergies +2.8%, Equinor +3.7% Elekta rises as much as 9.3% after releasing a 4Q earnings report that beat analysts’ expectations. Torm climbs as much as 12% after Pareto initiates coverage at buy and says the company may pay out dividends equal to 40% of its market value over the next 3 years. Mercell rises as much as 104% to NOK6.13/share after recommending a NOK6.3/share offer from Spring Cayman Bidco. Luxury stocks traded lower amid rekindled Covid-19 worries in China as Beijing continued to report new infections while nearby Tianjin locked down its city center. LVMH declines as much as 1.4%, Burberry -2.6% and Hermes -1.7% Sodexo falls as much as 5.7% after the French caterer decided not to open up the capital of its benefits & rewards unit to a partner following a review of the business. Ocado slumps as much as 8% after its grocery joint venture with Marks & Spencer slashed its forecast for FY22 sales growth to low single digits, rather than around 10% guided previously. Earlier in the session, Asian stocks were steady as traders continued to gauge growth concerns and fears of a US recession. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index rose 0.1%, paring an earlier increase of as much as 0.5%, as gains in the financial sector were offset by losses in consumer names. New Zealand equities dipped on Wednesday after the central bank delivered an expected half-point interest rate hike to combat inflation. Chinese shares stabilized after the central bank and banking regulator urged lenders to boost loans as the nation grapples with ongoing Covid outbreaks. The benchmark CSI 300 Index snapped a two-day losing streak to close 0.6% higher. Asian equities have been trading sideways as the prospect of slower growth amid tighter monetary conditions, as well as China’s strict Covid policy and supply-chain disruptions, remain key overhangs for the market. In China, the country’s strict Covid policy is outweighing broad measures to support growth and keeping investors wary. Its commitment to Covid Zero means it’s all but certain to miss its economic growth target by a large margin for the first time ever. The nation’s central bank and banking regulator urged lenders to boost loans in the latest effort to shore up the battered economy. “The valuation is still nowhere near attractive and you have a number of leading indicators, whether its credit, liquidity or growth, which are not yet indicating that we want to take more risks on the market,” Frank Benzimra, head of Asia equity strategy at Societe Generale, said in a Bloomberg TV interview. He added that the preferred strategy in equities will focus on defensive plays like resources and income. Investors will get further clues on the Federal Reserve’s interest-rate policies with the release in Washington of minutes from the latest meeting on Wednesday. Concerns that the Fed’s tightening will plunge the nation into recession had spurred a sharp selloff in US shares recently. Japanese stocks ended a bumpy day lower as investors awaited minutes from the latest Federal Reserve meeting and continued to gauge the impact of China’s rising Covid cases. The Topix fell 0.1% to close at 1,876.58, while the Nikkei declined 0.3% to 26,677.80. Nintendo Co. contributed the most to the Topix Index decline, decreasing 4.3%. Out of 2,171 shares in the index, 793 rose and 1,257 fell, while 121 were unchanged. Meanwhile, Australian stocks bounced with the S&P/ASX 200 index rising 0.4% to close at 7,155.20, with banks and miners contributing the most to its move. Costa Group was the top performer after reaffirming its operating capex guidance. Chalice Mining dropped after an equity raising. In New Zealand, the S&P/NZX 50 index fell 0.7% to 11,173.37 after the RBNZ’s policy decision. The central bank raised interest rates by half a percentage point for a second straight meeting and forecast further aggressive hikes to come to tame inflation. India’s key equity indexes fell for the third consecutive session, dragged by losses in software makers as worries grow over companies’ spending on technology amid a clouded growth outlook. The S&P BSE Sensex slipped 0.6% to 53,749.26 in Mumbai, while the NSE Nifty 50 Index dropped 0.6%. The benchmark has retreated for all but four sessions this month, slipping 5.8%, dragged by Infosys, Tata Consultancy and Reliance Industries. All but two of the 19 sector sub-indexes compiled by BSE Ltd. fell on Wednesday, led by information technology stocks. Out of 30 shares in the Sensex index, 12 rose and 18 fell. The S&P BSE IT Index has lost nearly 26% this year and is trading at its lowest level since June.  In FX, the Bloomberg dollar spot index resumed rising, up 0.3% with all G-10 FX in the red against the dollar. The euro slipped and Italian bonds extended gains after comments from ECB officials. Executive board member Fabio Panetta said the ECB shouldn’t seek to raise its interest rates too far as long as the euro-area economy displays continuing signs of fragility. Board Member Olli Rehn said the ECB should raise rates to zero in autumn. The pound was steady against the dollar and gained versus the euro, paring some of its losses from Tuesday. Focus is on the long-awaited report into lockdown parties at No. 10. The BOE needs to tighten policy further to fight rising inflation, but it’s also wary of acting too quickly and risking pushing the UK into recession, according to Chief Economist Huw Pill. Sweden’s krona slumped on the back of a stronger dollar and amid data showing that consumer confidence fell to the lowest level since the global financial crisis. Yen eased as Treasury yields steadied in Asia from an overnight plunge.  China’s offshore yuan weakened for the first time in five days as Beijing recorded more Covid cases and the nearby port city of Tianjin locked down a city-center district. New Zealand dollar and sovereign yields rose after the RBNZ hiked rates by 50 basis points for a second straight meeting and forecast more aggressive tightening, with the cash rate seen peaking at 3.95% in 2023. Most emerging-market currencies also weakened against a stronger dollar as investors await minutes from the Federal Reserve’s last meeting for clues on the pace of US rate hikes.  The ruble extended its recent rally in Moscow even as Russia’s central bank moved up the date of its next interest-rate meeting by more than two weeks to stem gains in the currency with more monetary easing. Russia has been pushed closer to a potential default. US banks and individuals are barred from accepting bond payments from Russia’s government since 12:01 a.m. New York time on Wednesday, when a license that had allowed the cash to flow ended. The lira lagged most of its peers, weakening for a fourth day amid expectations that Turkey’s central bank will keep rates unchanged on Thursday even after consumer prices rose an annual 70% in April. In rates, Treasuries were steady with yields slightly richer across long-end of the curve as S&P 500 futures edge lower, holding small losses. US 10-year yields around 2.745% are slightly richer vs Tuesday’s close; long-end outperformance tightens 5s30s spread by 1.4bp on the day with 30-year yields lower by ~1bp. Bunds outperform by 2bp in 10-year sector while gilts lag slightly with no major catalyst. Focal points of US session include durable goods orders data, 5-year note auction and minutes of May 3-4 FOMC meeting. The US auction cycle resumes at 1pm ET with $48b 5-year note sale, concludes Thursday with $42b 7-year notes; Tuesday’s 2-year auction stopped through despite strong rally into bidding deadline. The WI 5-year yield at ~2.740% is ~4.5bp richer than April auction, which tailed by 0.9bp. In commodities, WTI pushed higher, heading back toward best levels of the week near $111.60. Most base metals trade in the red; LME aluminum falls 2.3%, underperforming peers. Spot gold falls roughly $10 to trade around $1,856/oz. Spot silver loses 1.1% to around. Bitcoin trades on either side of USD 30k with no real direction. Looking to the day ahead now, and central bank publications include the FOMC minutes from their May meeting and the ECB’s Financial Stability Review. Separately, we’ll hear from ECB President Lagarde, the ECB’s Rehn, Panetta, Holzmann, de Cos and Lane, BoJ Governor Kuroda, Fed Vice Chair Brainard and the BoE’s Tenreyro. Otherwise, data releases from the US include preliminary April data on durable goods orders and core capital goods orders. Market Snapshot S&P 500 futures little changed at 3,942.75 STOXX Europe 600 up 0.4% to 433.41 MXAP little changed at 163.41 MXAPJ up 0.3% to 531.42 Nikkei down 0.3% to 26,677.80 Topix little changed at 1,876.58 Hang Seng Index up 0.3% to 20,171.27 Shanghai Composite up 1.2% to 3,107.46 Sensex down 0.5% to 53,763.20 Australia S&P/ASX 200 up 0.4% to 7,155.24 Kospi up 0.4% to 2,617.22 German 10Y yield little changed at 0.94% Euro down 0.5% to $1.0677 Brent Futures up 1.0% to $114.69/bbl Gold spot down 0.5% to $1,856.22 U.S. Dollar Index up 0.30% to 102.16 Top Overnight News from Bloomberg New Zealand dollar and sovereign yields rose after the RBNZ hiked rates by 50 basis points and forecast more aggressive tightening, with the cash rate seen peaking at 3.95% in 2023 The euro slipped and Italian bonds extended gains after comments from ECB officials. Executive board member Fabio Panetta said the ECB shouldn’t seek to raise its interest rates too far as long as the euro-area economy displays continuing signs of fragility. Board Member Olli Rehn said the ECB should raise rates to zero in autumn The pound was steady against the dollar and gained versus the euro, paring some of its losses from Tuesday. Focus is on the long-awaited report into lockdown parties at No. 10 The BOE needs to tighten policy further to fight rising inflation, but it’s also wary of acting too quickly and risking pushing the UK into recession, according to Chief Economist Huw Pill Sweden’s krona slumped on the back of a stronger dollar and amid data showing that consumer confidence fell to the lowest level since the global financial crisis Yen eased as Treasury yields steadied in Asia from an overnight plunge A more detailed look at global markets courtesy of Newsquawk Asia-Pac stocks were mostly positive but with gains capped and price action choppy after a lacklustre lead from global counterparts as poor data from the US and Europe stoked growth concerns, while the region also reflected on the latest provocations by North Korea and the RBNZ’s rate increase. ASX 200 was led higher by commodity-related stocks despite the surprise contraction in Construction Work. Nikkei 225 remained subdued after recent currency inflows and with sentiment clouded by geopolitical tensions. Hang Seng and Shanghai Comp were marginally higher following further support efforts by the PBoC and CBIRC which have explored increasing loans with major institutions and with the central bank to boost credit support, although the upside is contained amid the ongoing COVID concerns and with Beijing said to tighten restrictions among essential workers. Top Asian News US SEC official said significant issues remain in reaching a deal with China over audit inspections and even if US and China reach a deal on proceeding with inspections, they would still have a long way to go, according to Bloomberg. China will be seeing a Pacific Island Agreement when Senior Diplomat Wang Yi visits the region next week, according to documents cited by Reuters. North Korea Fires Suspected ICBM as Biden Wraps Up Asia Tour Luxury Stocks Slip Again as China Covid-19 Worries Persist Asia Firms Keep SPAC Dream Alive Despite Poor Returns: ECM Watch Powerlong 2022 Dollar Bonds Fall Further, Poised for Worst Week In Europe the early optimism across the equity complex faded in early trading. Major European indices post mild broad-based gains with no real standouts. Sectors initially opened with an anti-defensive bias but have since reconfigured to a more pro-defensive one. Stateside, US equity futures have trimmed earlier gains, with relatively broad-based gains seen across the contracts; ES (+0.1%). Top European News Aiming ECB Rate at Neutral Risks Hurting Economy, Panetta Says M&S Says Russia Exit, Inflation to Prevent Profit Growth Prudential Names Citi Veteran Wadhwani as Insurer’s Next CEO EU’s Gentiloni Eyes Deal on Russian Oil Embargo: Davos Update UK’s Poorest to See Inflation Hit Near Double Pace of the Rich FX Buck builds a base before Fed speak, FOMC minutes and US data - DXY tops 102.250 compared to low of 101.640 on Tuesday. Kiwi holds up well after RBNZ hike, higher OCR outlook and Governor Orr outlining the need to tighten well beyond neutral - Nzd/Usd hovers above 0.6450 and Aud/Nzd around 1.0950. Euro pulls back sharply as ECB’s Panetta counters aggressive rate guidance with gradualism to avoid a normalisation tantrum - Eur/Usd sub-1.0700 and Eur/Gbp under 0.8550. Aussie undermined by flagging risk sentiment and contraction in Q1 construction work completed - Aud/Usd retreats through 0.7100. Loonie and Nokkie glean some underlying traction from oil returning to boiling point - Usd/Cad capped into 1.2850, Eur/Nok pivots 10.2500. Franc, Yen and Sterling all make way for Greenback revival - Usd/Chf bounces through 0.9600, Usd/Jpy over 127.00 and Cable close to 1.2500. Fixed Income Choppy trade in bonds amidst fluid risk backdrop and ongoing flood of global Central Bank rhetoric, Bunds and Gilts fade just above 154.00 and 119.00. Eurozone periphery outperforming as ECB's Panetta urges gradualism to avoid a normalisation tantrum and Knot backs President Lagarde on ZIRP by end Q3 rather than going 50 bp in one hit. US Treasuries flat-line before US data, Fed's Brainard, FOMC minutes and 5-year supply - 10 year T-note midway between 120-21/09+ parameters. Commodities WTI and Brent July futures are firmer intraday with little newsflow throughout the European morning. US Energy Inventory Data (bbls): Crude +0.6mln (exp. -0.7mln), Gasoline -4.2mln (exp. -0.6mln), Distillates -0.9mln (exp. +0.9mln), Cushing -0.7mln. Spot gold is pressured by the recovery in the Dollar but found some support at its 21 DMA. Base metals are pressured by the turn in the risk tone this morning. US Event Calendar 07:00: May MBA Mortgage Applications -1.2%, prior -11.0% 08:30: April Durable Goods Orders, est. 0.6%, prior 1.1% -Less Transportation, est. 0.5%, prior 1.4% 08:30: April Cap Goods Ship Nondef Ex Air, est. 0.5%, prior 0.4% 08:30: April Cap Goods Orders Nondef Ex Air, est. 0.5%, prior 1.3% Central Banks 12:15: Fed’s Brainard Delivers Commencement Address 14:00: May FOMC Meeting Minutes DB's Jim Reid concludes the overnight wrap This morning we’ve launched our latest monthly survey. In it we try to ask questions that aren’t easy to derive from market pricing. For example we ask whether you think a recession is a price worth paying to tame inflation back to target. We also ask whether you think the Fed will think the same. We ask whether you think bubbles are still in markets and whether the bottom is in for equities. We also ask you the best hedge against inflation from a small list of mainstream assets. Hopefully it will be of use and the more people that fill it in the more useful it might be so all help welcome. The link is here. Talking of inflation I had a huge shock yesterday. The first quote of three came back from builders for what I hope will be our last ever renovation project as we upgrade a dilapidated old outbuilding. Given the job I do I'd like to think I'm fully aware of commodity price effects and labour shortages pushing up costs but nothing could have prepared me for a quote 250% higher than what I expected. We have two quotes to come but if they don't come in nearer to my expectations then we're either going to shelve/postpone the project after a couple of years of planning or my work output might reduce as I learn how to lay bricks, plumb, tile, make and install windows and plaster amongst other things. Maybe I could sell the rights of my journey from banker to builder to Netflix to make up for lost earnings. Rather like my building quote expectations, markets came back down to earth yesterday, only avoiding a fresh closing one-year low in the S&P 500 via a late-day rally that sent the market from intra-day lows of -2.48% earlier in the session to -0.81% at the close and giving back just under half the gains from the best Monday since January. Having said that S&P futures are up +0.6% this morning so we've had a big swing from the lows yesterday afternoon. The blame for the weak market yesterday was put on weak economic data alongside negative corporate news. US tech stocks saw the biggest losses as the NASDAQ (-2.35%) hit its lowest level in over 18 months following Snap’s move to cut its profit forecasts that we mentioned in yesterday’s edition. The stock itself fell -43.08%. Indeed, the NASDAQ just barely avoided closing more than -30% (-29.85%) from its all-time high reached back in November. The S&P 500's closing loss leaves it +1.03% week to date as it tries to avoid an 8th consecutive weekly decline for just the third time since our data starts in 1928. Typical defensive sectors Utilities (+2.01%), staples (+1.66%), and real estate (+1.21%) drove the intraday recovery, so even with the broad index off the day’s lows, the decomposition points to continued growth fears. Investors had already been braced for a more difficult day following the Monday night news from Snap, but further fuel was then added to the fire after US data releases significantly underwhelmed shortly after the open. First, the flash composite PMI for May fell to 53.8 (vs. 55.7 expected), marking a second consecutive decline in that measure. And then the new home sales data for April massively underperformed with the number falling to an annualised 591k (vs. 749k expected), whilst the March reading was also revised down to an annualised 709k (vs. 763k previously). That 591k reading left new home sales at their lowest since April 2020 during the Covid shutdowns, and comes against the backdrop of a sharp rise in mortgage rates as the Fed have tightened policy, with the 30-year fixed rate reported by Freddie Mac rising from 3.11% at the end of 2021 to 5.25% in the latest reading last week. The strong defensive rotation in the S&P 500 and continued fears of a recession saw investors pour into Treasuries, which have been supported by speculation that the Fed might not be able to get far above neutral if those growth risks do materialise. Yields on 10yr Treasuries ended the day down -10.1bps at 2.75%, and the latest decline in the 10yr inflation breakeven to 2.58% leaves it at its lowest closing level since late-February, just after Russia began its invasion of Ukraine that led to a spike in global commodity prices. And with investors growing more worried about growth and less worried about inflation, Fed funds futures took out -11.5bps of expected tightening by the December meeting, and saw terminal fed funds futures pricing next year close below 3.00% for the first time in two weeks. 10 year US yields are back up a basis point this morning. Over in Europe there was much the same pattern of equity losses and advances for sovereign bonds. However, the decline in yields was more muted after there was further chatter about a potential 50bp hike from the ECB. Austrian central bank governor Holzmann said that “A bigger step at the start of our rate-hike cycle would make sense”, and Latvian central bank governor Kazaks also said that a 50bp hike was “certainly one thing that we could discuss”. Along with Dutch central bank governor Knot, that’s now 3 members of the Governing Council who’ve openly discussed the potential they could move by 50bps as the Fed has done, and markets seem to be increasingly pricing in a chance of that, with the amount of hikes priced in by the July meeting closing at a fresh high of 32.5bps yesterday. In spite of the growing talk about a 50bp move at a single meeting, the broader risk-off tone yesterday led to a decline in sovereign bond yields across the continent, with those on 10yr bunds (-4.9bps), OATs (-4.3bps) and BTPs (-5.9bps) all falling back. Equities struggled alongside their US counterparts, and the STOXX 600 (-1.14%) ended the day lower, as did the DAX (-1.80%) and the CAC 40 (-1.66%). The flash PMIs were also somewhat underwhelming at the margins, with the Euro Area composite PMI falling a bit more than expected to 54.9 (vs. 55.1 expected). Over in the UK there were even larger moves after the country’s flash PMIs significantly underperformed expectations. The composite PMI fell to 51.8 (vs. 56.5 expected), which is the lowest reading since February 2021 when the country was still in lockdown. In turn, that saw sterling weaken against the other major currencies as investors dialled back the amount of expected tightening from the Bank of England, with a fall of -0.44% against the US dollar. That also led to a relative outperformance in gilts, with 10yr yields down -8.3bps. And on top of that, there were signs of further issues on the cost of living down the tracks, with the CEO of the UK’s energy regulator Ofgem saying that the energy price cap was set to increase to a record £2,800 in October, an increase of more than 40% from its current level. Asian equity markets are mostly trading higher this morning with the Hang Seng (+0.64%), Shanghai Composite (+0.58%), CSI (+0.17%) and Kospi (+0.80%) trading in positive territory with the Nikkei (-0.03%) trading fractionally lower. Earlier today, the Reserve Bank of New Zealand (RBNZ), in a widely anticipated move, hiked the official cash rate (OCR) by 50bps to 2.0%, its fifth-rate hike in a row in a bid to get on top of inflation which is currently running at a 31-year high. The central bank has significantly increased its forecast of how high the OCR might rise in the coming years with the cash rate jumping to about 3.4% by the end of this year and peaking at 3.95% in the third quarter of 2023. Additionally, it forecasts the OCR to start falling towards the end of 2024. Following the release of the statement, the New Zealand dollar hit a three-week high of 0.65 against the US dollar. Elsewhere, as we mentioned last week, today marks the expiration of the US Treasury Department’s temporary waiver that allowed Russia to make sovereign debt payments to US creditors. US investors will no longer be able to receive such payments, pushing Russia closer to default on its outstanding sovereign debt. To the day ahead now, and central bank publications include the FOMC minutes from their May meeting and the ECB’s Financial Stability Review. Separately, we’ll hear from ECB President Lagarde, the ECB’s Rehn, Panetta, Holzmann, de Cos and Lane, BoJ Governor Kuroda, Fed Vice Chair Brainard and the BoE’s Tenreyro. Otherwise, data releases from the US include preliminary April data on durable goods orders and core capital goods orders. Tyler Durden Wed, 05/25/2022 - 08:00.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeMay 25th, 2022

Profits And Margins Plunge In Q1: Expect More Margin Contraction As Fed Squeezes Inflation

Profits And Margins Plunge In Q1: Expect More Margin Contraction As Fed Squeezes Inflation By Joseph Carson, former chief economist AllianceBernstein Based on the preliminary data from the GDP report, operating profits fell roughly 10% in Q1 relative to Q4. A decline of that magnitude would drop aggregate company profits back to the Q1 2021 level, or nearly $300 billion below the record level of Q4 2021. The plunge in operating profits reflects a sharp drop in margins. Real operating profit margins for Non-Financial Companies hit a record high of 15.9% in Q2 2021, dropped to 15.2% in Q4, and probably fell 100 to 150 basis points in Q1 2022. To be sure, Q1 earnings reports from large companies such as Amazon, Wal-Mart, and Target confirm a sharp contraction in operating margins due to rising input costs. More margin contraction lies ahead, especially if the Fed successfully squeezes inflation to 2%, down from 8%, and limits any significant fallout in the labor markets. For reported consumer price inflation to drop 600 basis points over the next year or so, producer prices for many companies involved in production and distribution would drop twice as much, if not more. And if overall labor costs are unchanged, the hit to profit margins, or the ratio of profits from sales after all expenses, will be significant. Past cyclical slowdowns offer some perspective on significant margin contraction when monetary policy simultaneously slows demand and price inflation. For example, in 2000, consumer price inflation dropped 200 basis points, but producer prices for finished goods and intermediae materials fell between 600 and 1000 basis points. That dropped triggered the most significant cyclical contraction in real profit margins (700 basis points). The potential disruption to business operations in 2022 is more significant than in 2000 because the Fed faces a bigger inflation problem. That means a substantial decline in operating margins is the most considerable risk to the equity market. Investors forewarned. Tyler Durden Sun, 05/22/2022 - 12:10.....»»

Category: dealsSource: nytMay 22nd, 2022

Futures Slide As Sell-The-Rippers Emerge, Encouraged By Target"s Dismal Update

Futures Slide As Sell-The-Rippers Emerge, Encouraged By Target's Dismal Update It was a relatively quiet session for stocks with futures trading modestly lower overnight as yields eased their Monday surge and when the biggest news was Australia's unexpected 50bps rate hike (double consensus) before all hell broke loose at 7am, when Target cut guidance for the second time in two weeks due to the infamous bullwhip effect we had warned about just a few weeks ago, sending TGT stock crashing more than 9% and encouraging the cold risk-off wind that pushed S&P futures 0.8% lower to session lows around 4,080... ... while Nasdaq 100 futures fell 1% as Treasury yields hovered around 3.05%, their highest in nearly a month. Europe's Stoxx Europe 600 Index slipped as telecom and technology stocks weighed. In the premarket, shares of Target tumbled as much as 10% after the retailer cut its profit outlook for the second time in three weeks amid an inventory surplus. The news sent retailers such as Walmart and Costco also sliding premarket; WMT was down as much as 4.3% ahead of the bell, COST -2.9%, Kroger -1.3%, Macy’s -3%. Among other notable movers, cryptocurrency-exposed stocks tumbled in premarket trading as Bitcoin slid back below $30,000. Meanwhile Kohl’s shares rose 12% in premarket trading as the company holds exclusive talks with Franchise Group regarding a deal that would value the retail chain at about $8 billion. Here are some other notable premarket movers: Cryptocurrency-exposed stocks decline in premarket trading as Bitcoin slides back below $30,000, with another attempt at upward momentum losing traction amid risk-off markets. Riot Blockchain (RIOT US) -5%, Marathon Digital (MARA US) -3.7%. Kohl’s (KSS US) shares jump 12% in US premarket trading as the company holds exclusive talks with Franchise Group regarding a deal that would value the retail chain at about $8 billion. Peloton’s (PTON US) shares rose 1.4% in US after-hours trading on Monday. Former vice president of Amazon Web Services Liz Coddingtonis “well-positioned” to help Peloton in its next stage of growing subscribers, Citi says, after the exercise machine maker appointed Coddington CFO. Gitlab (GTLB US) shares rose 9.8% in postmarket trading on Monday after the software company’s first-quarter report. HealthEquity (HQY US) shares climbed 5.8% in postmarket Monday. It boosted its revenue guidance for the full year as its results beat the average analyst estimate in what RBC analyst Sean Dodgesaid could be the start of a years-long upside driven by rising interest rates. ProFrac (PFHC US) shares could be active after analysts initiated coverage of oil services firm with three overweight ratings and one buy, with both Piper Sandler and Morgan Stanley positive on the company’s valuation and vertical business model. Veru Inc. (VERU US) gained 2.8% in postmarket trading after Tang Capital Partners LPdisclosed a 5.2% passive stake in the firm. On Monday, investors once again sold the rip, showing their reluctance to take on risk amid fears policy to subdue inflation will go overboard and kill off economic recoveries, rather than cooling off price pressures in a so-called soft landing. “This debate around ‘are we going to see a recession, are we going to see a soft landing?’ -- that’s really keeping markets relatively range bound,” Laura Cooper, a senior investment strategist at BlackRock Inc., said in an interview with Bloomberg TV. “We likely need to see a dovish pivot from policymakers to really have conviction that we’re going to a sustained rally in equities." Rising bond yields are adding to worries about risks to economic growth as central banks ratchet up policy tightening. US benchmark Treasury yields stabilized near 3%, a psychological threshold that may burden new supply due this week before crucial inflation data. “The combo of declining growth, rising rates and falling liquidity is pretty ugly for equities,” said James Athey, investment director at abrdn. “Reluctant as investors in those market are to admit, the outlook for multiples and earnings isn’t great and is probably getting worse.” Meanwhile, Friday's CPI reading for May will be crucial for clues on the Federal Reserve’s pace of monetary tightening, especially the clothing and apparel component where we expect prices to plunge amid the inventory liquidation. Strong hiring data last week already cleared the way for the central bank to remain aggressive in its fight against inflation by raising interest rates. Higher rates particularly hurt growth sectors that are valued on future profits, like tech.  In Europe, the benchmark Stoxx 600 Index also resumed losses on Tuesday led by drops of more than 1% in technology and travel shares. European equities traded poorly with several indexes giving back over half of Monday’s gains. Euro Stoxx 50 drops as much as 0.8%, cash DAX underperforming at the margin. Tech, retail and telecoms are the weakest Stoxx 600 sectors. FTSE 100 trades flat.  The European Central Bank on Thursday is set to end trillions of euros of asset purchases and cement a path to exiting eight years of negative interest rates. Earlier in the session, Asian stocks declined with chipmakers coming under pressure as traders reassessed the outlook for demand, offsetting Japan’s boost from a weak yen. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index dropped as much as 1.2%, with TSMC and Samsung Electronics the biggest drags. Most sectors traded lower, while some Chinese internet giants and Japanese automakers were among the notable gainers. Tech hardware stocks fell as worries about demand for handsets and other gadgets outweighed hopes for a recovery in China on the easing of Covid lockdowns. South Korean equities dropped as the market reopened after a holiday, while shares in Australia slumped after the Reserve Bank of Australia blindsided the market with an outsized hike to combat rising costs. The RBA responded to price pressures with its biggest rate increase in 22 years -- predicted by just three of 29 economists -- and indicated it remained committed to “doing what is necessary” to rein in inflationary pressures. There are persistent worries about demand for semiconductors as the market consensus is that a demand slowdown for handsets and other consumer electronics is highly likely,” said Lee Jinwoo, chief strategist at Meritz Securities in Seoul. Most Chinese tech stocks finished lower in volatile trading after climbing Monday following a report that regulators are concluding their investigation of transport firm Didi. Japanese shares rose as the yen weakened to its lowest level in two decades, boosting exporters such as Toyota and Honda. Read: Yen Slides to Two-Decade Low, Reigniting Focus on Intervention Asian stocks are down in June after posting their first monthly gain in five months in May. Traders will be assessing the inflation and growth outlook ahead of the Federal Reserve’s meeting next week while monitoring the state of Covid restrictions in China.  “Stock market valuations have de-rated quite significantly and from our perspective, there is a lot of the bad news largely in the price. Possibly there’s more to go,” Chetan Seth, Asia Pacific equity strategist at Nomura Holdings said at a conference in Singapore In FX, Bloomberg dollar spot rises as much as 0.4% and the dollar was steady or higher against all of its Group-of-10 peers; NOK is the weakest G-10 performer. JPY softness extends, briefly trading at 133/USD. The yen extended its slump to a fresh 20- year low near 132.60/USD as BOJ’s Kuroda continued to emphasize persistent easing commitment. Senior Japanese government officials said they were closely watching currency markets with a sense of urgency Tuesday as they returned to a heightened state of alert following a renewed slide in the yen to fresh two-decade lows. The dollar’s steep rally to the 133 handle versus the yen and the Australian central bank’s biggest rate hike in 22 years make the case for long-volatility exposure in the major currencies and traders follow suit. The pound fell to an almost three-week low versus the greenback before paring losses to trade around $1.25. The gilt yield curve bull flattened. The euro was little changed, trading around $1.07. Bunds and European bonds reversed opening losses even as wagers earlier crossed half the way toward calling a historic half-point. In rates, treasuries swung from losses to gains, sending yields as much as 3bps lower as the yield curve flattened. Treasury futures rose led led by the long-end amid weakness in European stocks and S&P 500 futures.Bloomberg notes that gains were helped by block trade in 10-year note futures as cash yield eases back toward 3%. US yields were richer by nearly 3bp across long-end of the curve, flattening 2s10s, 5s30s by ~1bp; 10-year, down ~2bp to 3.02%, outperforms bunds slightly, while gilt is little changed. German bunds outperform, richening ~3bps from the 5y point out, gilts are relatively quiet. Peripheral spreads are slightly tighter to core, semi-core widens a touch. Australian bond yields soared and the Aussie briefly reversed a loss after the central bank surprised investors by raising its cash rate by 50 basis points -- the biggest increase in 22 years -- to 0.85%, a result predicted by just three of 29 economists. It also committed itself to “doing what is necessary” to rein in inflationary pressures. In commodities, crude futures drift higher with WTI near $120 and Brent back around $122. Spot gold adds ~$6 to near $1,847/oz. Base metals are in the red with LME nickel down over 3%. Bitcoin is pressured and back below the USD 30k mark and incrementally below last week's trough of USD 29.04k. Looking to the day ahead now, and data releases include German factory orders for April, the final UK services and composite PMI for May, as well as the US trade balance and consumer credit for April. Otherwise central bank speakers include the ECB’s Wunsch. Market Snapshot S&P 500 futures down 0.4% to 4,106.00 STOXX Europe 600 down 0.4% to 442.31 MXAP down 0.9% to 167.50 MXAPJ down 1.1% to 552.94 Nikkei up 0.1% to 27,943.95 Topix up 0.4% to 1,947.03 Hang Seng Index down 0.6% to 21,531.67 Shanghai Composite up 0.2% to 3,241.76 Sensex down 1.2% to 55,018.56 Australia S&P/ASX 200 down 1.5% to 7,095.74 Kospi down 1.7% to 2,626.34 Brent Futures up 0.3% to $119.88/bbl Gold spot up 0.1% to $1,843.79 U.S. Dollar Index up 0.10% to 102.54 German 10Y yield little changed at 1.30% Euro little changed at $1.0694 Top Overnight News The ECB will begin a new era of monetary policy this week as officials complete their pivot to confront the threat of inflation running out of control. Armed with new forecasts and with prices rising at a record pace, President Christine Lagarde and her colleagues will end trillions of euros of asset purchases and cement a path to exiting eight years of negative interest rates The yen has tumbled to a two-decade low against the dollar, caught in the crossfire between the two wildly different monetary policy regimes in Japan and the US. The Bank of Japan is pinning interest rates to zero in a bid to boost a sputtering economy and spur price growth, while the Federal Reserve is hiking furiously to beat back raging inflation Investors from Tokyo to New York are betting on further weakness in Japan’s currency, which is already wallowing at a two-decade low against the greenback Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda walked back some of his comments that consumers are now more willing to accept higher prices after criticism on social media and a grilling in parliament A more detailed look at global markets courtesy of Newsquawk Asia-Pac stocks traded cautiously amid recent upside in yields and ahead of upcoming risk events. ASX 200 declined with losses exacerbated after the RBA delivered a larger-than-expected rate hike. Nikkei 225 swung between gains and losses although a weak JPY boosted the index above 28k. Hang Seng and Shanghai Comp. were varied as the mainland was kept afloat by reopening optimism and with Hong Kong subdued by property names, although tech benefitted from hopes Beijing may be easing its crackdown on the sector with China reportedly to conclude the cybersecurity probe into certain companies. Top Asian News China's Tianjin city reopened all subway stations that were closed due to COVID, while Shanghai Port's daily volume rose to 95% of the normal level, according to local press. Labor Advisory Committee urged US President Biden to extend China tariffs, according to Axios. Japan set up a team to monitor land sales near bases and nuclear plants or on strategically located islands under a new law designed to prevent hostile foreigners from affecting national security, according to Nikkei. RBA hiked rates by 50bps to 0.85% (exp. 25bps increase) and said inflation in Australia has increased significantly, while it is committed to doing what is necessary to ensure that inflation in Australia returns to the target over time. RBA added that inflation is likely to be higher than was expected a month ago and the Board expects to take further steps in normalising monetary conditions over the months ahead with the size and timing of future interest rate increases to be guided by the incoming data and the assessment of the outlook for inflation and the labour market. Furthermore, it noted the Australian Economy is resilient although one source of uncertainty about the economic outlook is how household spending evolves, given the increasing pressure on Australian households' budgets from higher inflation. Japan's Economy Minister Yamagiwa says they are closely watching any impact of FX movements on the economy, wants to refrain from commenting on FX levels, via Reuters. European bourses are modestly pressured, Euro Stoxx 50 -0.9% , with newsflow relatively limited once more and participants looking ahead to the week's risks events. Stateside, performance is in-fitting with this directionally, though marginally more contained in terms of magnitudes, with a limited US docket ahead; ES -0.5%. EU lawmakers have come to an agreement on a single mobile charging point, via Reuters; will be USB-C by fall-2024. Top European News UK PM Johnson won the confidence vote, as expected, with total votes at 211 vs 148, according to Reuters. However, the Telegraph highlights that Johnson is not "out of the woods yet" given that he has lost the support of so many backbenchers. UK PM Johnson said he is grateful for colleagues' support and that they need to come together as a party now. PM Johnson added that they can now focus on what they are doing to help people in the country and have a chance to continue strengthening the economy, while he responded that is certainly not interested when asked about a snap election, according to Reuters. Subsequently, the 1922 Committee is, according to the understanding of UK MP Ellwood, looking at altering party rules to allow another no-confidence vote within a one-year period, via Sky's Degenhardt. Barclaycard UK May consumer spending rose 9.3% Y/Y, which reflected the rising cost of living and base effects, according to Reuters. FX Dollar takes time out after rallying further on yield factors and frailty of others, DXY midway between 102.830-450 range. Yen continues to underperform on rate and relative BoJ policy dynamics, with Franc also feeling the heat from SNB vs Fed, ECB etc policy divergence; USD/JPY touches 133.00 before easing back, USD/CHF tops 0.9675 and EUR/CHF crosses 1.0400. Kiwi hit by abrupt turnaround in AUD/NZD tide after RBA exceeded market expectations with a 50bp hike compounded by hawkish guidance; NZD/USD sub-0.6500 around 0.6450, AUD/NZD above 1.1100 and AUD/USD within sight of 0.7200. Sterling volatile after PM Johnson wins confidence vote, but significant minority of Conservative Party want him out; Cable choppy either side of 1.2500 and EUR/GBP whipsaws around 0.8550. Loonie softer with oil ahead of Canadian trade data and Ivey PMIs, USD/CAD near 1.2600 after probe beyond round number. Lira continues to slide after Turkish President Erdogan repeats intention to keep cutting rates irrespective of ongoing rise in inflation, USD/TRY tests 14.7500. Fixed Income Firm bounce in bonds following extension of bear run to new cycle lows. Bunds lead the way in core debt circles with a near full point recovery to 149.80, while BTPs remain to the fore at the margins between 121.27-122.86 bounds. Gilts flat after falling short of 115.00 before solid 2025 DMO auction, T-note a tad firmer and curve flatter for choice ahead of 3 year sale. Commodities Crude benchmarks have waned from initial upside stemming from bullish bank commentary amid a broader easing in risk sentiment. Thus far, WTI and Brent have been as low as USD 117.76/bbl and USD 118.62/bbl respectively, circa. USD 2.00/bbl from initial highs. Goldman Sachs hiked its Q3 Brent oil forecast to USD 140/bbl from USD 125/bbl and increased its Q4 forecast to USD 130/bbl from USD 125/bbl. Morgan Stanley's base case view is for Brent to reach USD 130/bbl during Q3 with an upside to the bull case estimate of USD 150/bbl. Spot gold languished near the prior day's lows amid a firmer greenback. JPMorgan continues to see gold trading softer towards USD 1,800/oz in Q3 2022 on an expected rebound in investor risk sentiment and continued push higher in US yields. Spot gold is firmer but capped by USD 1850/oz, which now coincides with its 10-DMA, after losing the level late on Monday; base metals are generally pressured, amid risk aversion and following yesterday's price action. US Event Calendar 8:30am: Revisions: Trade Balance 8:30am: April Trade Balance, est. -$89.5b, prior -$109.8b 3pm: April Consumer Credit, est. $35b, prior $52.4b DB's Jim Reid concludes the overnight wrap Yesterday I published the 24th Annual Default Study. While nothing much will change for the remainder of 2022, we think we might be coming to the end of the ultra-low default world we’ve discussed so much in previous editions. First, we will likely have a cyclical US recession to address in 2023, and after that, a risk of the reversal of trends that have made the last 20 years so subdued for defaults. We see US HY defaults peaking at just over 10% in 2024 with Europe just under 7% helped by a higher BB weighting. After that we see many of the trends of the last couple of decades reversing, helping to leave the ultra-low default era behind. You can read all about this in the note but these factors include: higher structural inflation, less ability for central banks to be as aggressive across all fixed income - they will be forced to pick their battles (eg Peripherals), less global FX reserve accumulation, a turn up in the free float of global government bonds, higher term premium, a structural fall from peak corporate profits, and shorter gaps between recessions. None of this need be a disaster just a change in the long-term trend. Clearly our view relies a lot on inflation being sticky and helping set off a 2023 recession and then remaining sticky after this, and thus changing the landscape of the last 20 years. If we’re wrong on both, the ultra-low default world will survive. See the report here. The biggest story yesterday was a surge in yields but before we get there, a big curiousity to those of us in the UK, albeit with very limited implications for global markets, was the confidence vote last night for Prime Minister Boris Johnson from within his own party. That came after the threshold of 15% of his own MPs called for a vote, and the final result saw him win by just 211-148, meaning that 41% of his own party’s MPs voted against him. For reference, that’s more than the 37% of MPs who voted against his predecessor Theresa May in a similar vote in December 2018, and it was only 5 months later that she announced her resignation after failing to deliver Brexit and witnessing a dramatic turn in the Conservatives’ poll ratings. The next big hurdle for Johnson will likely be two by-elections on June 23rd, one of which is in a “Red Wall” seat that the Conservatives gained off Labour for the first time in decades to win their majority at the last election, whilst the other is in a traditionally safe Devon seat for the Conservatives but where the bookmakers have the Liberal Democrats as the favourite to win. So bad showings in those two would keep questions about Johnson’s leadership in the headlines and further intensify the pressure on him. In theory the Conservative leadership rules give him another year before a repeat confidence vote can happen, but history tells us that once this process gets set in motion it is incredibly difficult to reverse the negative momentum, and both Theresa May and Margaret Thatcher resigned well within a year even though they also won a majority of their own MPs at the confidence vote. Sterling actually climbed around +0.5% in the morning as the vote was officially triggered before giving back half these gains as the day progressed. However even after the surprise result at 9pm last night Sterling didn't move, and this morning it’s just -0.09% lower, trading at 1.252 against the US dollar. Back to the main event, which was the global rates sell-off, where 10yr Treasury yields poked back up above 3% for the first time in nearly a month, whilst European yields hit fresh multi-year highs of their own ahead of this Thursday’s ECB meeting. There’ve been a couple of catalysts behind those moves higher, but a key one over the last week and a half has been the perception that near-term recession risks (at least in 2022) are fading back again, which in turn is set to give central banks the space to continue hiking rates and thus take bond yields higher. On top of that, the fact that recent inflation data has proven stickier than expected has also pushed yields higher, and investors are eagerly awaiting to see if we get another upside surprise from the US CPI reading out on Friday. All-in-all, those moves sent the 10yr Treasury yield up by +10.3bps yesterday to 3.04%, with a rise in real yields of +8.3bps behind the bulk of the move. That came as investors dialled back up their bets on Fed tightening over the rest of the year, with the implied rate by the December FOMC meeting at a 1-month high of 2.85%, whilst the rate priced in by the Feb-2023 meeting went back above 3% for the first time in a month as well. But it was in Europe where there were even more significant milestones, with the amount of ECB rate hikes priced in by December exceeding 125bps for the first time, meaning that markets are fully pricing in at least one 50bp hike by year-end, assuming the ECB begins liftoff at the July meeting. That prospect of a 50bp hike from the ECB sent yields on 10yr bunds up +4.9bps to 1.32%, which is their highest level since mid-2014, whilst the German 2yr yield (+3.0bps) hit its highest level since 2011. It was a similar picture elsewhere on the continent, with yields on 10yr OATs (+4.1bps) at a post-2014 high, and those on 10yr BTPs (+1.3bps) at a post-2018 high. Gilts underperformed however, with 10yr yields up +9.2bps as investors moved to price in at least one 50bp hike from the BoE by year-end. Those moves have gained further momentum overnight after the Reserve Bank of Australia hiked rates by a larger-than-expected 50bps, helping 10yr Treasury yields to rise a further +1.9bps this morning to hit 3.06%. Their statement also pointed to further tightening ahead, and said that they expect “to take further steps in the process of normalizing monetary conditions in Australia over the months ahead”, and that they were “committed to doing what is necessary to ensure that inflation in Australia returns to target over time.” Unsurprisingly, the Australian dollar is also the top-performing G10 currency this morning, up +0.50% against the US Dollar. The strong rise in bond yields wasn’t enough to stop equities from posting a decent start to the week, although they did pare back their initial gains following the US open. By the close, the S&P 500 (+0.31%) had held onto a broad-based advance, with 8 of 11 sectors advancing, even after paring back gains as high as +1.5% in the morning. Tech stocks fared slightly better than the broader index, with the NASDAQ gaining +0.40%. The clearest split was between mega- and small-cap shares, as mega-cap shares were clear outperformers as the FANG+ Index ended the day +1.68% higher while the small-cap Russell 2000 (+0.36%) lagged behind. It was much the same story in Europe too, where the STOXX 600 (+0.92%), the DAX (+1.34%) and the CAC 40 (+0.98%) all moved higher as well. Whilst equities were making further gains, there wasn’t much respite on the inflation side since commodities continued their advance, with Bloomberg’s Commodity Spot Index (+1.86%) hitting a fresh record on the back of the latest moves. Admittedly, Brent Crude (-0.18%) and WTI (-0.31%) oil prices fell back slightly, and we also saw European natural gas prices (-1.75%) fall to their lowest levels since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine began. But US natural gas prices surged another +8.37% to a fresh post-2008 high, whilst agricultural goods also saw some serious movements, with futures on corn (+2.13%), wheat (+5.10%) and sugar (+1.40%) all rising on the day. This morning we’ve seen even further momentum behind commodity prices, with Brent crude moving back above the $120/bbl mark thanks to a +0.69% gain. Overnight in Asia, equity markets have put in a pretty mixed performance as they grappled with that monetary tightening mentioned above. The Nikkei (+0.51%), the CSI 300 (+0.65%) and the Shanghai Comp (+0.48%) have all moved higher, but the Hang Seng (-0.12%) has posted a marginal decline and the Kospi (-1.37%) has lost significant ground. Meanwhile in Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 has deepened its loses since the RBA’s hawkish decision, and is currently down -1.63%, whilst futures in the US are also pointing lower, with those on the S&P 500 down -0.59% this morning. On the FX side, we’ve also seen the Japanese Yen fall to a 20-year low against the US Dollar of 131.88 by the close yesterday, and this morning it’s lost further ground to hit 132.86. That comes as the BoJ stands out among its global peers in not tightening policy, which is leading to a widening interest rate differential as other central banks continue hiking. Finally we started on credit so let's end there too before the day ahead preview. Our colleagues in the European Leveraged Finance Research team have just published their quarterly top trade ideas. You can find the report here. To the day ahead now, and data releases include German factory orders for April, the final UK services and composite PMI for May, as well as the US trade balance and consumer credit for April. Otherwise central bank speakers include the ECB’s Wunsch. Tyler Durden Tue, 06/07/2022 - 08:03.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeJun 7th, 2022

Futures Slide After Dismal Target Earnings, Plunging Mortgage Apps

Futures Slide After Dismal Target Earnings, Plunging Mortgage Apps The brief bear market rally in US stocks was set to end with a whimper following Tuesday’s strong dead cat bounce, after Fed Chair Jerome Powell gave his most hawkish remarks to date. Hope that China lockdowns would soon end turned to skepticism, as the yuan slumped after its biggest gain since October, while dismal guidance from Target - which warned that inflation was crushing margins - confirmed what Walmart said yesterday, namely that the US consumer is running on fumes. An 11% plunge in the latest weekly mortgage applications only reaffirmed that a hard-landing is inevitable and just a matter of time. Nasdaq 100 futures dropped 1%, while S&P 500 futures slipped 0.7% after US stocks surged on Tuesday. Treasury yields hit session highs, rising back to 3.0%, and the dollar snapped a three-day losing streak. Bitcoin got hammered again, sliding back under $30k. Among the biggest premarket movers, Target crashed 22% with Vital Knowledge calling its margin shortfall “more dramatic” than what Walmart posted on Tuesday, citing industry-wide macro problems. The retailer reduced its full-year forecast on operating income margin to about 6% of sales this year. It also reported first-quarter adjusted earnings per share that came in below expectations. Food and gas inflation is drawing money away from discretionary and general merchandise spending, forcing “aggressive” discounting to clear out product in the latter category, Vital’s Adam Crisafulli said in a note. Elsewhere in US premarket trading, Tesla slipped 1% after its price target was cut at Piper Sandler. Meanwhile, Twitter Inc. also traded slightly lower even as the social media platform’s board said it plans to enforce its $44 billion agreement to be bought by Elon Musk. Here are some other notable premarket movers: US tech hardware stocks may be in focus as Jefferies Group LLC strategists have turned bullish on the likes of IBM (IBM US), Cisco Systems (CSCO US) and Microchip Technology (MCHP US) after this year’s steep declines for US information technology shares National CineMedia (NCMI US) shares jump as much as 33% in US premarket trading after AMC Entertainment (AMC US) reported a 6.8% stake in the cinema advertising company. AMC shares gain 1.2% in premarket trading. DLocal Ltd. (DLO US) shares gain as much as 15% in US premarket trading after the Uruguay-based payment platform posted 1Q revenue that doubled from the year-earlier period and topped expectations. Doximity (DOCS US) shares fall as much as 19% in US premarket trading, after the online healthcare platform provider’s forecast for 1Q revenue missed the average analyst estimate, prompting analysts to slash their price targets on the stock. Penn National (PENN US) may be active on Wednesday as Jefferies raised the recommendation to buy from hold. The company’s shares rose 4% in premarket trading. On Tuesday, Powell said the Fed will keep raising interest rates until there is “clear and convincing” evidence that inflation is in retreat, which initially pushed stocks lower but then was faded as risk closed near session highs as nothing Powell said was actually new. The S&P 500 is emerging from the longest weekly slump since 2011 as investors have been gripped by fears of hawkish monetary policy and surging inflation driving the economy into a recession. As also discussed yesterday, Bank of America’s survey published yesterday showed that fund managers are the most underweight equities since May 2020 and are piling into cash. “This is one of the most challenging markets I have been in in my career,” Henry Peabody, fixed income portfolio manager at MFS Investment Management, said on Bloomberg Television. “I suspect at a certain point of time we’re going to have the liquidity of the markets challenged. They really haven’t been thus far.” As the Fed embarks on interest-rate hikes, frothy growth shares, including the tech sector, have suffered in particular as higher rates mean a bigger discount for the present value of future profits. This marks a major shift in investor outlook after tech stocks had been some of the market’s best performers for years. “Investor sentiment and confidence remain shaky, and as a result, we are likely to see volatile and choppy markets until we get further clarity on the 3Rs — rates, recession, and risk,” Mark Haefele, chief investment officer at UBS Global Wealth Management, wrote in a note. Rebounds in risk sentiment are proving fragile amid tightening monetary settings, Russia’s war in Ukraine and China’s Covid lockdowns. In what’s seen as his most hawkish remarks to date, Powell said that the US central bank will raise interest rates until there is “clear and convincing” evidence that inflation is in retreat. “We’ll have this kind of volatility as people jump in and look at opportunities to buy as markets decline,” Shana Sissel, director of investments at Cope Corrales, said on Bloomberg Television, referring to the Wall Street bounce. The Fed is going to struggle to achieve a soft economic landing, she added. In Europe, the Stoxx 600 Index was little changed, with energy stocks outperforming. Spain's IBEX outperformed, adding 0.5%. ABN Amro slumped almost 10% after the Dutch lender reported first-quarter results burdened by rising costs.  The Stoxx Europe 600 Basic Resources sub-index drops, underperforming other sectors in the broader regional benchmark on Wednesday as base metals ended a three-day rebound and as iron ore declined. Base metals paused a recovery from this year’s lows, with copper and aluminum stalling after hawkish remarks from Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell. Iron ore futures declined as investors weighed China’s faltering economy and the prospect of support measures amid a mixed outlook for steel demand. Basic resources index -0.6%, halting three days of gains; broader benchmark little changed. Siemens Gamesa jumped as much as 15% as Siemens Energy weighs a bid for the shares of the troubled Spanish wind-turbine maker it doesn’t already own. Here are the most notable movers: European oil and gas stocks rise amid higher crude prices and broker upgrades, while renewables rallied after Siemens Energy confirmed it was considering a buyout offer for Siemens Gamesa. Shell gains as much as 1.8%, BP +1.8%, Equinor +3.4%, Gamesa +15%, Vestas +7.7% Air France-KLM shares rise as much as 7.5% in Paris on news that container line CMA CGM intends to take a stake of up to 9% in the French carrier following the signing of a long-term strategic partnership in the air cargo market. Rockwool shares gain as much as 8.3%, most since Feb. 15, as the company boosts its sales in local currencies forecast for the full year. British Land shares rise as much as 4.2%, as the company’s results show a strong recovery and a good performance in the UK landlord’s portfolio, analysts say. Vistry shares climb as much as 8% with analysts saying the UK homebuilder’s trading update looks positive, particularly the robust momentum in its sales rate. The Stoxx Europe 600 Basic Resources sub-index drops, underperforming other sectors in the broader regional benchmark on Wednesday as base metals ended a three-day rebound and as iron ore declined. Rio Tinto slips as much as 1.5%, Antofagasta -2.7%, Anglo American -1.5% Prosus shares fall as much as 4.2% and Naspers sinks as much as 6.7% after Tencent reported first- quarter revenue and net income that both missed analyst expectations. TUI shares drop as much as 13% in London after the firm announced an equity raise in order to repay a chunk of government aid that helped see it through the coronavirus crisis. ABN Amro shares declined as much as 11% after the lender reported 1Q earnings that showed higher costs related to money laundering. Experian shares fall as much as 5.1% after the consumer-credit reporting company reported full-year results, with Citi saying organic growth missed consensus. Meanwhile, UK inflation rose to its highest level since Margaret Thatcher was prime minister 40 years ago, adding to pressure for action from the government and central bank. The pound weakened and gilt yields fell as traders speculated that the Bank of England will struggle to rein in inflation and avoid a recession. Elsewhere, the Biden administration is poised to fully block Russia’s ability to pay US bondholders after a deadline expires next week, a move that could bring Moscow closer to a default. Sri Lanka, meantime, is on the brink of reneging on $12.6 billion of overseas bonds, a warning sign to investors in other developing nations that surging inflation is set to take a painful toll. Earlier in the session, Asian stocks advanced for a fourth session as strong US economic data allayed worries about the global growth outlook, while Chinese equities slipped. The MSCI Asia-Pacific Index rose as much as 1%, extending its rebound from an almost two-year low reached last Thursday. Materials shares led the gains, with Australia’s BHP Group climbing 3.2%. Benchmarks in most markets were in the black, with Indonesia, Taiwan and Singapore chalking up gains of at least 1%.  Upbeat retail sales and industrial production data from the US underpinned sentiment, so much so that investors barely reacted to hawkish comments from Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell. He indicated that policy makers won’t hesitate to raise interest rates beyond neutral levels to contain inflation. Equities in China bucked the trend. Property shares paced the drop after data showed the decline in China’s new home prices accelerated in April, while tech shares also lost steam ahead of Tencent’s earnings which missed expectations and slumped. Local investors may be underwhelmed by a lack of details from Chinese Vice Premier Liu He’s fresh vow to support tech firms. Liu said the government will support the development of digital economy companies and their public listings, in remarks reported by state media after a symposium with the heads of some the nation’s largest private firms. Lee Chiwoong, chief economist at Mitsubishi UFJ Morgan Stanley Securities, said Liu’s comments point to an easing of the crackdown on internet firms. “The Chinese government is stepping up measures to support the economy following the slowdown,” Lee said.  “As bottlenecks stemming from lockdowns in Shanghai ease, that impact will gradually show up in the economy,” Lee added. “We should be able to clearly see an economic recovery in the second half of this year.” Japanese equities gained as investors assessed strong US economic data and comments by Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell on the outlook for interest rate hikes.  The Topix Index rose 1% to close at 1,884.69. Tokyo time, while the Nikkei advanced 0.9% to 26,911.20. Sony Group Corp. contributed the most to the Topix gain, increasing 2.9%. Out of 2,172 shares in the index, 1,345 rose and 749 fell, while 78 were unchanged. Chinese stocks erased losses intraday after earlier disappointment over a much-anticipated meeting between Vice Premier Liu He and some of the nation’s tech giants. Overnight, data showed US retail sales grew at a solid pace in April, while factory production rose at a solid pace for a third month. Australia's stocks also gained, with the S&P/ASX 200 index rising 1% to close at 7,182.70, extending its winning streak to a fourth day. Miners contributed the most to its advance. All sectors gained, except for consumer staples and financials. Eagers slumped after saying that its 1H profit will be lower than it was a year ago and flagged reduced new vehicle deliveries. Wage data was also in focus. Australian wages advanced at less than half the pace of consumer-price gains in the first three months of the year, reinforcing the RBA’s signal that it will stick to quarter-point hikes.  In New Zealand, the S&P/NZX 50 index rose 1.1% to 11,258.28 India’s benchmark equities index fell, snapping two sessions of gains, weighed by declines in engineering company Larsen & Toubro Ltd.    The S&P BSE Sensex dropped 0.2% to close at 54,208.53 in Mumbai, after rising as much as 0.9% earlier in the session. The NSE Nifty 50 Index fell 0.1% to 16,240.30.  Larsen & Toubro slipped 2% and was the biggest drag on the Sensex, which saw 17 of its 30 member stocks decline. Sixteen of 19 sectoral sub-indexes compiled by BSE Ltd. dropped, led by a gauge of realty shares.   State-run Life Insurance Corporation, which debuted Tuesday, rose 0.1% to 876 rupees, still below the issue price of 949 rupees. In earnings, of the 34 Nifty 50 firms that have announced results so far, 20 have either met or exceeded analyst estimates, while 14 have missed. Consumer goods company ITC Ltd. is scheduled to announce results on Wednesday. In FX, the Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index reversed an early loss and the greenback advanced versus all of its Group-of-10 peers apart from the yen. The pound was the worst G-10 performer, tracking Gilt yields lower and paring the previous day’s gains. A widely expected jump in UK inflation prompted investors to pare back bets on BOE rate hikes. Money markets are pricing around 120bps of BOE rate hikes by December, down from 130bps from the previous day. UK inflation rose to its highest level since Margaret Thatcher was prime minister 40 years ago, adding to pressure for action from the government and central bank. Consumer prices surged 9% in the year through April. The euro fell for the first day in four and weakened beyond $1.05. The Bund curve has twist flattened as traders bet on a faster pace of ECB tightening after Bank of Finland Governor Olli Rehn said there’s broad agreement among members of the Governing Council that policy rates should exit sub-zero terrain “relatively quickly.” That’s to prevent inflation expectations from becoming de- anchored, he said. The Aussie swung between gains and losses while Australia’s bonds trimmed earlier declines after a report showed wage growth last quarter was less than economists forecast. The wage price index climbed an annual 2.4% last quarter, trailing economists’ expectations and coming in well below headline inflation of 5.1%. The yen rose as US yields declined amid fragile risk sentiment. Japanese government bonds were mixed, with a decent five-year auction lending support while an overnight rise in global yields weighed on super-long maturities. In rates, Treasuries were under pressure, though most benchmark yields remained within 1bp of Tuesday’s closing levels. 10-year yields rose just shy of 3.00%, higher by less than 1bp with comparable bund yield +3.3bp and UK 10-year flat. TSY futures erased gains amid a series of block trades in 5- and 10-year note contracts starting at 5:20am ET, apparently selling flow. According to Bloomberg, six 5-year block trades and two 10-year block trades -- all 5,000 lots -- have printed since 5:20am, apparently seller-initiated as cash yields concurrently rebounded from near session lows. Wednesday’s $17b 20-year new-issue auction at 1pm ET may also weigh on the market. 20-year bond auction is this week’s only nominal coupon sale; WI yield ~3.37% exceeds all 20-year auction stops since then tenor was reintroduced in 2020, is ~27.5bp cheaper than last month’s result. Elsewhere, the UK yield curve bull-steepened with the short end richening ~5bps, while pound falls after inflation surged to a four-decade high. Money markets pare BOE rate-hike wagers. Bund curve bear-flattens while money markets bet on a faster pace of ECB tightening after ECB’s Rehn said the central bank needs to move quickly from negative rates. In commodities, WTI trades within Tuesday’s range, adding 1.6% to around $114. Most base metals are in the red; LME tin falls 1.5%, underperforming peers, LME aluminum outperforms, adding 1%. Spot gold is little changed at $1,815/oz. Looking to the day ahead now, and data releases include the UK and Canadian CPI readings for April, along with US data on housing starts and building permits for the same month. Central bank speakers include the Fed’s Harker and the ECB’s Muller. Earnings releases include Cisco, Lowe’s, Target and TJX. Finally, G7 finance ministers and central bank governors will be meeting in Germany. Market Snapshot S&P 500 futures down 0.5% to 4,065.50 STOXX Europe 600 down 0.2% to 438.11 MXAP up 0.8% to 164.43 MXAPJ up 0.7% to 539.81 Nikkei up 0.9% to 26,911.20 Topix up 1.0% to 1,884.69 Hang Seng Index up 0.2% to 20,644.28 Shanghai Composite down 0.2% to 3,085.98 Sensex up 0.3% to 54,469.39 Australia S&P/ASX 200 up 1.0% to 7,182.66 Kospi up 0.2% to 2,625.98 German 10Y yield little changed at 1.03% Euro down 0.4% to $1.0505 Brent Futures up 1.5% to $113.66/bbl Gold spot down 0.0% to $1,815.04 U.S. Dollar Index up 0.33% to 103.70 Top Overnight News from Bloomberg Sweden’s biggest pension company has begun buying government bonds amid a “paradigm shift” in the market that pushed yields to their highest level since 2018. The CIO views Treasuries as “quite attractive” after a prolonged period of razor-thin yields that forced the company into alternative and riskier asset classes to preserve returns across its $117 billion portfolio While outright China bulls may be hard to find, shifts in positioning at least point to improving sentiment. Bearish bets on stocks are being abandoned in Hong Kong, expectations for yuan volatility are falling, domestic equity traders have stopped unwinding leverage and foreigners have slowed their once-record exit from government bonds The EU is set to unveil a raft of measures ranging from boosting renewables and LNG imports to lowering energy demand in its quest to cut dependence on Russian supplies. The 195 billion-euro ($205 billion) plan due Wednesday will center on cutting red tape for wind and solar farms, paving the way for renewables to make up an increased target of 45% of its energy needs by 2030, according to draft documents seen by Bloomberg that are still subject to change A more detailed look at global markets courtesy of Newsquawk Asia-Pac stocks traded mixed as the regional bourses only partially sustained the momentum from global peers. ASX 200 was led higher by outperformance in the mining and materials related sectors, while softer than expected wage price data reduced the prospects of a more aggressive RBA rate hike next month. Nikkei 225 briefly reclaimed the 27,000 level but retreated off its highs as participants digested GDP data which printed in negative territory, albeit at a narrower than feared contraction. Hang Seng and Shanghai Comp were subdued with large-cap tech stocks pressured in Hong Kong including JD.com despite beating earnings expectations and with Tencent bracing for the expected slowest revenue growth since its listing, while the mainland was hampered by the mixed COVID-19 situation as Shanghai registered a 4th consecutive day of zero transmissions outside of quarantine, although Beijing was said to lockdown some areas in its Fengtai district for 7 days. Top Asian News Shanghai authorities issued a new white list containing 864 financial institutions permitted to resume work, according to sources cited by Reuters. China, on May 20th, is to remove some COVID test requirements on travellers to China from the US, according to embassy. China's Foreign Ministry says the BRICS foreign ministers are to meet on May 19th. Goldman Sachs downgrades its 2022 China GDP growth forecast to 4.0% from 4.5%. European bourses are rangebound and relatively directionless, Euro Stoxx 50 U/C, taking impetus from a mixed APAC session which failed to sustain US upside. Stateside, futures are modestly softer and a firmer Wall St. close; ES -0.2%. Limited Fed speak due and near-term focus on retail earnings. Tencent (0700 HK) Q1 2022 (CNY): adj. net profit 25.5bln (exp. 26.4bln), Revenue 135.5bln (exp. 141bln). Lowe's Companies Inc (LOW) Q1 2023 (USD): EPS 3.61 (exp. 3.22/3.23 GAAP), Revenue 23.70bln (exp. 23.76bln). SSS: Lowe's Companies: -4.0% (exp. -2.5%); Lowe's Companies (US): -3.8% (exp. -3.7%). -0.2% in the pre-market Top European News UK Chancellor Sunak is reportedly mulling bringing forward the 1p income tax cut to the basic rate by one year, according to iNews citing Treasury insiders. Other reports suggest that Sunak is putting plans together to raise the warm home discount by hundreds of GBP in July ahead of lowering taxes in autumn to assist with the cost of living crisis, according to The Times. EU is to offer the UK new concessions on the Northern Ireland protocol but has threatened a trade war if UK PM Johnson refuses to agree to a compromise, according to The Telegraph. In FX Sterling slides to the bottom of the major ranks as fractionally sub-forecast UK CPI dampens BoE rate hike expectations; Cable reverses from just over 1.2500 to sub-1.2400, EUR/GBP nearer 0.8500 after dip below 0.8400 only yesterday. Hawkish Fed chair Powell helps Buck bounce ahead of US housing data, DXY towards the upper end of 103.770-180 range. Aussie hampered by softer than expected wage metrics that might convince the RBA to refrain from 40bp hike in June, AUD/USD heavy on the 0.7000 handle. Yen relatively resilient in wake of Japanese GDP showing less contraction in Q1 than feared, USD/JPY closer to 129.00 than 129.50. Euro loses momentum irrespective of comments from ECB’s Rehn echoing Summer rate hike guidance as final Eurozone HICP is tweaked down, EUR/USD fades from 1.0550+ to test support around 1.0500. Loonie treads cautiously before Canadian inflation metrics as oil prices come off the boil, USD/CAD back above 1.2800 within 1.2795-1.2852 range. In Fixed Income Gilts sharply outperform as UK CPI falls just shy pf consensus and dampens BoE tightening expectations. 10 year UK bond rebounds towards 119.50 from sub-119.00 lows, while Bunds lag below 152.50 and T-note under 119-00. Record high cover for 2052 German auction and low retention sets high bar for upcoming 20 year US offering. Central Banks ECB's Rehn says June forecasts are seen near the adverse scenario from March, first rate increase will likely take place in the summer. Many colleagues back stance for quick moves. ECB's de Cos says the end of APP should be finalised early in Q3, first hike shortly afterwards. Further rises could be made in subsequent quarters of medium-term outlook remains around target; the build-up of price pressures in EZ in recent months raises the likelihood of second-round effects, which have not strongly materialised. In commodities WTI and Brent are modestly supported after yesterday's lower settlement; currently, firmer by just over USD 1.00/bbl. Focus has been on the narrowing WTI/Brent spread, particularly going into US driving season; see link below for ING's views. US Energy Inventory Data (bbls): Crude -2.4mln (exp. +1.4mln), Cushing -3.1mln, Gasoline -5.1mln (exp. -1.3mln), Distillates +1.1mln (exp. unchanged). Spot gold and silver are modestly firmer but capped by a firmer USD, yellow metal just shy of USD 1820/oz. US Event Calendar 07:00: May MBA Mortgage Applications, prior 2.0% 08:30: April Building Permits MoM, est. -3.0%, prior 0.4%, revised 0.3% 08:30: April Housing Starts MoM, est. -2.1%, prior 0.3% 08:30: April Building Permits, est. 1.81m, prior 1.87m, revised 1.87m 08:30: April Housing Starts, est. 1.76m, prior 1.79m DB's Jim Reid concludes the overnight wrap Another reminder of my webinar replay from last week discussing our recession call for 2023 and an update on credit spreads. In it I said that while we have high conviction that HY spreads would be +850bp in H2 2023, the outlook over the next few weeks and months may actually be positive from this starting point. I would say I am nervous of that view but I still don't think that the real economic pain comes until deeper into 2023 when the lagged impact of an aggressive Fed starts to bite. Click here to view the webinar and to download the presentation. Good luck to Glasgow Rangers and Eintracht Frankfurt in tonight's Europa League final. These are not teams that any would have expected to reach this final and I will watch with stress free divided loyalties. My father's family were all from the former and supported Rangers while the latter play at the fabulously named Deutsche Bank Park. So good luck to both. I suspect I'll be less stress free in 11 days' time when Liverpool are out for revenge against Real Madrid in the Champions League Final. At the moment I’m feeling nervously optimistic. Talking of which, investor optimism has returned to markets over the last 24 hours as more positive data releases raised hopes that the US economy might be more resilient in the near-term than many have feared. The economic concerns won't go away, but stronger-than-expected numbers on retail sales and industrial production helped the S&P 500 (+2.02%) close at its highest level in over a week. Remember monetary policy acts with a lag and it would be very unusual historically if the data rolled over imminently. By this time next year it will likely be a very different story. The higher yield momentum was reinforced by a Powell speech after Europe went home but there was a steady march of slightly hawkish central bank speakers through the day. Before we review things keep an eye out for UK CPI just after this goes to press. The headline rate is expected to be a huge 9.1%. Expect a lot of headlines reporting of 40 year highs. With regards to Powell, most in focus was his claim that policy rates would rise above neutral if that was required to tame inflation. While the sentiment was not necessarily new, his explicit comment that neutral rates are “not a stopping point” garnered focus, noting that the Fed was looking for “clear and convincing evidence” that inflation was subsiding. The rates market have already priced terminal policy rates above the Fed’s estimate of neutral, but a combination of the risk on, and stronger data meant that equities could go up alongside yields. Earlier in the day we got a smattering of communications from Fed regional Presidents, none of which registered as materially but it reinforced the direction of travel after a month to date where markets have repriced the Fed lower. Indeed, even resident hawk, St Louis Fed President Bullard, reiterated Powell’s message in that the Fed was on course for 50bp hikes at the upcoming meetings and said that “I think we have a good plan for now”. Sovereign bonds had already sold off significantly ahead of all that Fedspeak, aided by the broader risk-on tone yesterday, but continued drifting higher through the US session. Yields on 10yr Treasuries closed +10.4bps to a one-week high of 2.99%, driven by a +7.9bps rise in real yields to 0.24%. The moves were more pronounced at the front-end however, and the 2yr yield rose by a larger +13.1bps as investors priced in a more aggressive path of hikes over the next 12 months after data showed the economy was performing stronger than the consensus had anticipated. In terms of the headlines, retail sales were up by +0.9% in April (vs. +1.0% expected), but the growth in March was revised up to +1.4% (vs. +0.5% previously). Retail sales excluding autos and gas were up by +1.0% as well (vs. +0.7% expected), whilst the industrial production number was another that came in above expectations at +1.1% (vs. +0.5% expected). Europe also had a large move in yields, which followed comments by Dutch central bank Governor Knot who became the first member of the Governing Council to openly float the idea of a 50bp hike. Although he said that “my preference would be to raise our policy rate by a quarter of a percentage point”, he said that “bigger increases must not be excluded” if data were to show inflation “broadening further or accumulating”. So even though he’s one of the more hawkish members of the council, that’s still a significant milestone in that larger moves are being openly discussed, and echoes what we saw with the Fed at the turn of the year when the policy trajectory became increasingly aggressive. Market pricing reflected that shift yesterday, and for the first time overnight index swaps were pricing in that the ECB would hike by more than 100bps by their December meeting and thus catching up with the DB House View. That growing belief behind additional hikes led to a fresh selloff in sovereign bonds, with those on 10yr bunds (+10.9bps), OATs (+10.5bps) and BTPs (+11.7bps) all moving higher. The biggest moves were seen from gilts (+15.0bps) however, which followed data that pointed to an increasingly tight labour market in the UK, and overnight index swaps nearly doubled the probability of a 50bp rate hike from the BoE in June, with the odds moving from 17% on Monday to 33% yesterday. Over in equities, stronger risk appetite led to a significant rebound yesterday, with the S&P 500 (+2.02%) hitting a one-week high, whilst the NASDAQ (+2.76%) saw an even larger rebound in spite of the simultaneous rise in yields. Walmart (-11.38%) was by far the worst performer in the S&P, which came as it cut its earnings per share forecast, which it now expected to decrease by 1%, relative to previous guidance that expected it to rise by the mid single-digits. But that was the exception, and every sector except consumer staples moved higher on the day, with the more cyclical areas leading the advance. Over in Europe the STOXX 600 (+1.22%) posted a strong performance of its own, bringing its advance to more than +5% since its recent closing low just over a week ago. Overnight in Asia, performance in regional stock indices is diverging partly on the back of economic data. Japan’s Q1 GDP (-1.0%) contracted less than expected (-1.8%), lifting the Nikkei (+0.50%) this morning. In China, though, rising covid cases and waning optimism about government’s support of tech companies weighed on the Shanghai composite (-0.37%) and the Hang Seng (-0.66%). New home prices (-0.30%) in the country also slid for an eighth month in a row. This slight souring of sentiment has extended to S&P 500 futures (-0.23%) with the US 10y yield edging back lower by -2.2bps. Elsewhere, tensions over Brexit ratcheted up again yesterday after UK Foreign Secretary Truss announced plans to introduce legislation that would override parts of the Northern Ireland Protocol. Truss said that the UK’s preference “remains a negotiated solution with the EU” and that the bill would contain an “explicit power to give effect to a new, revised Protocol if we can reach an accommodation”, but that “the urgency of the situation means we can’t afford to delay any longer.” Unsurprisingly the EU did not react happily, and Commission Vice President Šefčovič said in a statement that if the UK moved ahead with the bill, then “the EU will need to respond with all measures at its disposal.” Staying on the UK, the latest employment data out yesterday pointed to an increasingly tight labour market, with the unemployment rate falling to 3.7% in the three months to March (vs. 3.8% expected), which is the lowest it’s been since 1974. Furthermore, the number of vacancies was larger than the total number of unemployed for the first time, and the more up-to-date estimate of payrolled employees in April saw an increase of +121k (vs. +51k expected). Elsewhere in Europe, the latest estimate of Euro Area GDP growth in Q1 showed a bigger than expected expansion of +0.3% (vs. +0.2% previously). Elsewhere the chances of a Russian sovereign debt default increased, following the Treasury department confirming a temporary waiver that allowed Russia to pay US creditors would expire on May 25. Meanwhile, the US is reportedly considering a tariff on Russian oil in conjunction with European allies, as the saga about banning imports to Europe drags on. To the day ahead now, and data releases include the UK and Canadian CPI readings for April, along with US data on housing starts and building permits for the same month. Central bank speakers include the Fed’s Harker and the ECB’s Muller. Earnings releases include Cisco, Lowe’s, Target and TJX. Finally, G7 finance ministers and central bank governors will be meeting in Germany. Tyler Durden Wed, 05/18/2022 - 07:51.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeMay 18th, 2022

The Failure Of Fiat Currencies & The Implications For Gold & Silver

The Failure Of Fiat Currencies & The Implications For Gold & Silver Authored by Alasdair Macleod via GoldMoney.com, This is the background text of my Keynote Speech given yesterday to European Gold Forum yesterday, 13 April. To explain why fiat currencies are failing I started by defining money. I then described the relationship between fiat money and its purchasing power, the role of bank credit, and the interests of central banks. Undoubtedly, the recent sanctions over Russia will have a catastrophic effect for financialised currencies, possibly leading to the end of fifty-one years of the dollar regime. Russia and China plan to escape this fate for the rouble and yuan by tying their currencies to commodities and production instead of collapsing financial assets. The only way for those of us in the West to protect ourselves is with physical gold, which over time is tied to commodity and energy prices. What is money? To understand why all fiat currency systems fail, we must start by understanding what money is, and how it differs from other forms of currency and credit. These are long-standing relationships which transcend our times and have their origin in Roman law and the practice of medieval merchants who evolved a lex mercatoria, which extended money’s legal status to instruments that evolved out of money, such as bills of exchange, cheques, and other securities for money. And while as circulating media, historically currencies have been almost indistinguishable from money proper, in the last century issuers of currencies split them off from money so that they have become pure fiat. At the end of the day, what constitutes money has always been determined by its users as the means of exchanging their production for consumption in an economy based on the division of labour. Money is the bridge between the two, and while over the millennia different media of exchange have come and gone, only metallic money has survived to be trusted. These are principally gold, silver, and copper. Today the term usually refers to gold, which is still in government reserves, as the only asset with no counterparty risk. Silver, which as a monetary asset declined in importance as money after Germany moved to a gold standard following the Franco-Prussian war, remains a monetary metal, though with a gold to silver ratio currently over 70 times, it is not priced as such. For historical reasons, the world’s monetary system evolved based on English law. Britain, or more accurately England and Wales, still respects Roman, or natural law with respect to money. To this day, gold sovereign coins are legal tender. Strictly speaking, metallic gold and silver are themselves credit, representing yet-to-be-spent production. But uniquely, they are no one’s liability, unlike banknotes and bank deposits. Metallic money therefore has this exceptional status, and that fact alone means that it tends not to circulate, in accordance with Gresham’s Law, so long as lesser forms of credit are available. Money shares with its currency and credit substitutes a unique position in criminal law. If a thief steals money, he can be apprehended and charged with theft along with any accomplices. But if he passes the money on to another party who receives it in good faith and is not aware that it is stolen, the original owner has no recourse against the innocent receiver, or against anyone else who subsequently comes into possession of the money. It is quite unlike any other form of property, which despite passing into innocent hands, remains the property of the original owner. In law, cryptocurrencies and the mooted central bank digital currencies are not money, money-substitutes, or currencies. Given that a previous owner of stolen bitcoin sold on to a buyer unaware it was criminally obtained can subsequently claim it, there is no clear title without full provenance. In accordance with property law, the United States has ruled that cryptocurrencies are property, reclaimable as stolen items, differentiating cryptocurrencies from money and currency proper. And we can expect similar rulings in other jurisdictions to exclude cryptocurrencies from the legal status as money, whereas the position of CBDCs in this regard has yet to be clarified. We can therefore nail to the floor any claims that bitcoin or any other cryptocurrency can possibly have the legal status required of money. Under a proper gold standard, currency in the form of banknotes in public circulation was freely exchangeable for gold coin. So long as they were freely exchangeable, banknotes took on the exchange value of gold, allowing for the credit standing of the issuer. One of the issues Sir Isaac Newton considered as Master of the Royal Mint was to what degree of backing a currency required to retain credibility as a gold substitute. He concluded that that level should be 40%, though Ludwig von Mises, the Austrian economist who was as sound a sound money economist as it was possible to be appeared to be less prescriptive on the subject. The effect of a working gold standard is to ensure that money of the people’s choice is properly represented in the monetary system. Both currency and credit become bound to its virtues. The general level of prices will fluctuate influenced by changes in the quantity of currency and credit in circulation, but the discipline of the limits of credit and currency creation brings prices back to a norm. This discipline is disliked by governments who believe that money is the responsibility of a government acting in the interests of the people, and not of the people themselves. This was expressed in Georg Knapp’s State Theory of Money, published in 1905 and became Germany’s justification for paying for armaments by inflationary means ahead of the First World War, and continuing to use currency debasement as the principal means of government finance until the paper mark collapsed in 1923. Through an evolutionary process, modern governments first eroded then took away from the public for itself the determination of what constitutes money. The removal of all discipline of the gold standard has allowed governments to inflate the quantities of currency and credit as a means of transferring the public wealth to itself. As a broad representation of this dilution, Figure 1 shows the growth of broad dollar currency since the last vestige of a gold standard under the Bretton Woods Agreement was suspended by President Nixon in August 1971. From that date, currency and bank credit have increased from $685 billion to $21.84 trillion, that is thirty-two times. And this excludes an unknown increase in the quantity of dollars not in the US financial system, commonly referred to as Eurodollars, which perhaps account for several trillion more. Gold priced in fiat dollars has risen from $35 when Bretton Woods was suspended, to $1970 currently. A better way of expressing this debasement of the dollar is to say that priced in gold, the dollar has lost 98.3% of its purchasing power (see Figure 4 later in this article). While it is a mistake to think of the relationship between the quantity of currency and credit in circulation and the purchasing power of the dollar as linear (as monetarists claim), not only has the rate of debasement accelerated in recent years, but it has become impossible for the destruction of purchasing power to be stopped. That would require governments reneging on mandated welfare commitments and for them to stand back from economic intervention. It would require them to accept that the economy is not the government’s business, but that of those who produce goods and services for the benefit of others. The state’s economic role would have to be minimised. This is not just a capitalistic plea. It has been confirmed as true countless times through history. Capitalistic nations always do better at creating personal wealth than socialistic ones. This is why the Berlin Wall was demolished by angry crowds, finally driven to do so by the failure of communism relative to capitalism just a stone’s throw away. The relative performance of Hong Kong compared with China when Mao Zedong was starving his masses on some sort of revolutionary whim, also showed how the same ethnicity performed under socialism compared with free markets. The relationship between fiat currency and its purchasing power One can see from the increase in the quantity of US dollar M3 currency and credit and the fall in the purchasing power measured against gold that the government’s monetary statistic does not square with the market. Part of the reason is that government statistics do not capture all the credit in an economy (only bank credit issued by licenced banks is recorded), dollars created outside the system such as Eurodollars are additional, and market prices fluctuate. Monetarists make little or no allowance for these factors, claiming that the purchasing power of a currency is inversely proportional to its quantity. While there is much truth in this statement, it is only suited for a proper gold-backed currency, when one community’s relative valuations between currency and goods are brought into line with the those of its neighbours through arbitrage, neutralising any subjectivity of valuation. The classical representation of the monetary theory of prices does not apply in conditions whereby faith in an unbacked currency is paramount in deciding its utility. A population which loses faith in its government’s currency can reject it entirely despite changes in its circulating quantity. This is what wipes out all fiat currencies eventually, ensuring that if a currency is to survive it must eventually return to a credible gold exchange standard. The weakness of a fiat currency was famously demonstrated in Europe in the 1920s when the Austrian crown and German paper mark were destroyed. Following the Second World War, the Japanese military yen suffered the same fate in Hong Kong, and Germany’s mark for a second time in the mid 1940s. More recently, the Zimbabwean dollar and Venezuelan bolivar have sunk to their value as wastepaper — and they are not the only ones. Ultimately it is the public which always determines the use value of a circulating medium. Figure 2 below, of the oil price measured in goldgrams, dollars, pounds, and euros shows that between 1950 and 1974 a gold standard even in the incomplete form that existed under the Bretton Woods Agreement coincided with price stability. It took just a few years from the ending of Bretton Woods for the consequences of the loss of a gold anchor to materialise. Until then, oil suppliers, principally Saudi Arabia and other OPEC members, had faith in the dollar and other currencies. It was only when they realised the implications of being paid in pure fiat that they insisted on compensation for currency debasement. That they were free to raise oil prices was the condition upon which the Saudis and the rest of OPEC accepted payment solely in US dollars. In the post-war years between 1950 and 1970, US broad money grew by 167%, yet the dollar price of oil was unchanged for all that time. Similar price stability was shown in other commodities, clearly demonstrating that the quantity of currency and credit in circulation was not the sole determinant of the dollar’s purchasing power. The role of bank credit While the relationship between bank credit and the sum of the quantity of currency and bank reserves varies, the larger quantity by far is the quantity of bank credit. The behaviour of the banking cohort therefore has the largest impact on the overall quantity of credit in the economy. Under the British gold standard of the nineteenth century, the fluctuations in the willingness of banks to lend resulted in periodic booms and slumps, so it is worthwhile examining this phenomenon, which has become the excuse for state intervention in financial markets and ultimately the abandonment of gold standards entirely. Banks are dealers in credit, lending at a higher rate of interest than they pay to depositors. They do not deploy their own money, except in a general balance sheet sense. A bank’s own capital is the basis upon which a bank can expand its credit. The process of credit creation is widely misunderstood but is essentially simple. If a bank agrees to lend money to a borrowing customer, the loan appears as an asset on the bank’s balance sheet. Through the process of double entry bookkeeping, this loan must immediately have a balancing entry, crediting the borrower’s current account. The customer is informed that the loan is agreed, and he can draw down the funds credited to his current account from that moment. No other bank, nor any other source of funding is involved. With merely two ledger entries the bank’s balance sheet has expanded by the amount of the loan. For a banker, the ability to create bank credit in this way is, so long as the lending is prudent, an extremely profitable business. The amount of credit outstanding can be many multiples of the bank’s own capital. So, if a bank’s ratio of balance sheet assets to equity is eight times, and the gross margin between lending and deposits is 3%, then that becomes a gross return of 24% on the bank’s own equity. The restriction on a bank’s balance sheet leverage comes from two considerations. There is lending risk itself, which will vary with economic conditions, and depositor risk, which is the depositors’ collective faith in the bank’s financial condition. Depositor risk, which can lead to depositors withdrawing their credit in the bank in favour of currency or a deposit with another bank, can in turn originate from a bank offering an interest rate below that of other banks, or alternatively depositors concerned about the soundness of the bank itself. It is the combination of lending and depositor risk that determines a banker’s view on the maximum level of profits that can be safely earned by dealing in credit. An expansion in the quantity of credit in an economy stimulates economic activity because businesses are tricked into thinking that the extra money available is due to improved trading conditions. Furthermore, the apparent improvement in trading conditions encourages bankers to increase lending even further. A virtuous cycle of lending and apparent economic improvement gets under way as the banking cohort takes its average balance sheet assets to equity ratio from, say, five to eight times, to perhaps ten or twelve. Competition for credit business then persuades banks to cut their margins to attract new business customers. Customers end up borrowing for borrowing’s sake, initiating investment projects which would not normally be profitable. Even under a gold standard lending exuberance begins to drive up prices. Businesses find that their costs begin to rise, eating into their profits. Keeping a close eye on lending risk, bankers are acutely aware of deteriorating profit prospects for their borrowers and therefore of an increasing lending risk. They then try to reduce their asset to equity ratios. As a cohort whose members are driven by the same considerations, banks begin to withdraw credit from the economy, reversing the earlier stimulus and the economy enters a slump. This is a simplistic description of a regular cycle of fluctuating bank credit, which historically varied approximately every ten years or so, but could fluctuate between seven and twelve. Figure 3 illustrates how these fluctuations were reflected in the inflation rate in nineteenth century Britain following the introduction of the sovereign gold coin until just before the First World War. Besides illustrating the regularity of the consequences of a cycle of bank credit expansion and contraction marked by the inflationary consequences, Figure 3 shows there is no correlation between the rate of price inflation and wholesale borrowing costs. In other words, modern central bank monetary policies which use interest rates to control inflation are misconstrued. The effect was known and named Gibson’s paradox by Keynes. But because there was no explanation for it in Keynesian economics, it has been ignored ever since. Believing that Gibson’s paradox could be ignored is central to central bank policies aimed at taming the cycle of price inflation. The interests of central banks Notionally, central banks’ primary interest is to intervene in the economy to promote maximum employment consistent with moderate price inflation, targeted at 2% measured by the consumer price index. It is a policy aimed at stimulating the economy but not overstimulating it. We shall return to the fallacies involved in a moment. In the second half of the nineteenth century, central bank intervention started with the Bank of England assuming for itself the role of lender of last resort in the interests of ensuring economically destabilising bank crises were prevented. Intervention in the form of buying commercial bank credit stopped there, with no further interest rate manipulation or economic intervention. The last true slump in America was in 1920-21. As it had always done in the past the government ignored it in the sense that no intervention or economic stimulus were provided, and the recovery was rapid. It was following that slump that the problems started in the form of a new federal banking system led by Benjamin Strong who firmly believed in monetary stimulation. The Roaring Twenties followed on a sea of expanding credit, which led to a stock market boom — a financial bubble. But it was little more than an exaggerated cycle of bank credit expansion, which when it ended collapsed Wall Street with stock prices falling 89% measured by the Dow Jones Industrial Index. Coupled with the boom in agricultural production exaggerated by mechanisation, the depression that followed was particularly hard on the large agricultural sector, undermining agriculture prices worldwide until the Second World War. It is a fact ignored by inflationists that first President Herbert Hoover, and then Franklin Roosevelt extended the depression to the longest on record by trying to stop it. They supported prices, which meant products went unsold. And at the very beginning, by enacting the Smoot Hawley Tariff Act they collapsed not only domestic demand but all domestic production that relied on imported raw materials and semi-manufactured products. These disastrous policies were supported by a new breed of economist epitomised by Keynes, who believed that capitalism was flawed and required government intervention. But proto-Keynesian attempts to stimulate the American economy out of the depression continually failed. As late as 1940, eleven years after the Wall Street Crash, US unemployment was still as high as 15%. What the economists in the Keynesian camp ignored was the true cause of the Wall Street crash and the subsequent depression, rooted in the credit inflation which drove the Roaring Twenties. As we saw in Figure 3, it was no more than the turning of the long-established repeating cycle of bank credit, this time fuelled additionally by Benjamin Strong’s inflationary credit expansion as Chairman of the new Fed. The cause of the depression was not private enterprise, but government intervention. It is still misread by the establishment to this day, with universities pushing Keynesianism to the exclusion of classic economics and common sense. Additionally, the statistics which have become a religion for policymakers and everyone else are corrupted by state interests. Soon after wages and pensions were indexed in 1980, government statisticians at the Bureau of Labor Statistics began working on how to reduce the impact on consumer prices. An independent estimate of US consumer inflation put it at well over 15% recently, when the official rate was 8%. Particularly egregious is the state’s insistence that a target of 2% inflation for consumer prices stimulates demand, when the transfer of wealth suffered by savers, the low paid and pensioners deprived of their inflation compensation at the hands of the BLS is glossed over. So is the benefit to the government, the banks, and their favoured borrowers from this wealth transfer. The problem we now face in this fiat money environment is not only that monetary policy has become corrupted by the state’s self-interest, but that no one in charge of it appears to understand money and credit. Technically, they may be very well qualified. But it is now over fifty years since money was suspended from the monetary system. Not only have policymakers ignored indicators such as Gibson’s paradox. Not only do they believe their own statistics. And not only do they think that debasing the currency is a good thing, but we find that monetary policy committees would have us believe that money has nothing to do with rising prices. All this is facilitated by presenting inflation as rising prices, when in fact it is declining purchasing power. Figure 4 shows how purchasing power of currencies should be read. Only now, it seems, we are aware that inflation of prices is not transient. Referring to Figure 1, the M3 broad money supply measure has almost tripled since Lehman failed, so there’s plenty of fuel driving a lower purchasing power for the dollar yet. And as discussed above, it is not just quantities of currency and credit we should be watching, but changes in consumer behaviour and whether consumers tend to dispose of currency liquidity in favour of goods. The indications are that this is likely to happen, accelerated by sanctions against Russia, and the threat that they will bring in a new currency era, undermining the dollar’s global status. Alerted to higher prices in the coming months, there is no doubt that there is an increased level of consumer stockpiling, which put another way is the disposal of personal liquidity before it buys less. So far, the phases of currency evolution have been marked by the end of the Bretton Woods Agreement in 1971. The start of the petrodollar era in 1973 led to a second phase, the financialisation of the global economy. And finally, from now the return to a commodity standard brought about by sanctions against Russia is driving prices in the Western alliance’s currencies higher, which means their purchasing power is falling anew. The faux pas over Russia With respect to the evolution of money and credit, this brings us up to date with current events. Before Russia invaded Ukraine and the Western alliance imposed sanctions on Russia, we were already seeing prices soaring, fuelled by the expansion of currency and credit in recent years. Monetary planners blamed supply chain problems and covid dislocations, both of which they believed would right themselves over time. But the extent of these price rises had already exceeded their expectations, and the sanctions against Russia have made the situation even worse. While America might feel some comfort that the security of its energy supplies is unaffected, that is not the case for Europe. In recent years Europe has been closing its fossil fuel production and Germany’s zeal to go green has even extended to decommissioning nuclear plants. It seems that going fossil-free is only within national borders, increasing reliance on imported oil, gas, and coal. In Europe’s case, the largest source of these imports by far is Russia. Russia has responded by the Russian central bank announcing that it is prepared to buy gold from domestic credit institutions, first at a fixed price or 5,000 roubles per gramme, and then when the rouble unexpectedly strengthened at a price to be agreed on a case-by-case basis. The signal is clear: the Russian central bank understands that gold plays an important role in price stability. At the same time, the Kremlin announced that it would only sell oil and gas to unfriendly nations (i.e. those imposing sanctions) in return for payments in roubles. The latter announcement was targeted primarily at EU nations and amounts to an offer at reasonable prices in roubles, or for them to bid up for supplies in euros or dollars from elsewhere. While the price of oil shot up and has since retreated by a third, natural gas prices are still close to their all-time highs. Despite the northern hemisphere emerging from spring the cost of energy seems set to continue to rise. The effect on the Eurozone economies is little short of catastrophic. While the rouble has now recovered all the fall following the sanctions announcement, the euro is becoming a disaster. The ECB still has a negative deposit rate and enormous losses on its extensive bond portfolio from rapidly rising yields. The national central banks, which are its shareholders also have losses which in nearly all cases wipes out their equity (balance sheet equity being defined as the difference between a bank’s assets and its liabilities — a difference which should always be positive). Furthermore, these central banks as the NCB’s shareholders make a recapitalisation of the whole euro system a complex event, likely to question faith in the euro system. As if that was not enough, the large commercial banks are extremely highly leveraged, averaging over 20 times with Credit Agricole about 30 times. The whole system is riddled with bad and doubtful debts, many of which are concealed within the TARGET2 cross-border settlement system. We cannot believe any banking statistics. Unlike the US, Eurozone banks have used the repo markets as a source of zero cost liquidity, driving the market size to over €10 trillion. The sheer size of this market, plus the reliance on bond investment for a significant proportion of commercial bank assets means that an increase in interest rates into positive territory risks destabilising the whole system. The ECB is sitting on interest rates to stop them rising and stands ready to buy yet more members’ government bonds to stop yields rising even more. But even Germany, which is the most conservative of the member states, faces enormous price pressures, with producer prices of industrial products officially increasing by 25.9% in the year to March, 68% for energy, and 21% for intermediate goods. There can be no doubt that markets will apply increasing pressure for substantial rises in Eurozone bond yields, made significantly worse by US sanctions policies against Russia. As an importer of commodities and raw materials Japan is similarly afflicted. Both currencies are illustrated in Figure 5. The yen appears to be in the most immediate danger with its collapse accelerating in recent weeks, but as both the Bank of Japan and the ECB continue to resist rising bond yields, their currencies will suffer even more. The Bank of Japan has been indulging in quantitative easing since 2000 and has accumulated substantial quantities of government and corporate bonds and even equities in ETFs. Already, the BOJ is in negative equity due to falling bond prices. To prevent its balance sheet from deteriorating even further, it has drawn a line in the sand: the yield on the 10-year JGB will not be permitted to rise above 0.25%. With commodity and energy prices soaring, it appears to be only a matter of time before the BOJ is forced to give way, triggering a banking crisis in its highly leveraged commercial banking sector which like the Eurozone has asset to equity ratios exceeding 20 times. It would appear therefore that the emerging order of events with respect to currency crises is the yen collapses followed in short order by the euro. The shock to the US banking system must be obvious. That the US banks are considerably less geared than their Japanese and euro system counterparts will not save them from global systemic risk contamination. Furthermore, with its large holdings of US Treasuries and agency debt, current plans to run them off simply exposes the Fed to losses, which will almost certainly require its recapitalisation. The yield on the US 10-year Treasury Bond is soaring and given the consequences of sanctions on global commodity prices, it has much further to go. The end of the financial regime for currencies From London’s big bang in the mid-eighties, the major currencies, particularly the US dollar and sterling became increasingly financialised. It occurred at a time when production of consumer goods migrated to Asia, particularly China. The entire focus of bank lending and loan collateral moved towards financial assets and away from production. And as interest rates declined, in general terms these assets improved in value, offering greater security to lenders, and reinforcing the trend. This is now changing, with interest rates set to rise significantly, bursting a financial bubble which has been inflating for decades. While bond yields have started to rise, there is further for them to go, undermining not just the collateral position, but government finances as well. And further rises in bond yields will turn equity markets into bear markets, potentially rivalling the 1929-1932 performance of the Dow Jones Industrial Index. That being the case, the collapse already underway in the yen and the euro will begin to undermine the dollar, not on the foreign exchanges, but in terms of its purchasing power. We can be reasonably certain that the Fed’s mandate will give preference to supporting asset prices over stabilising the currency, until it is too late. China and Russia appear to be deliberately isolating themselves from this fate for their own currencies by increasing the importance of commodities. It was noticeable how China began to aggressively accumulate commodities, including grain stocks, almost immediately after the Fed cut its funds rate to zero and instituted QE at $120 billion per month in March 2020. This sent a signal that the Chinese leadership were and still are fully aware of the inflationary implications of US monetary policy. Today China has stockpiled well over half the world’s maize, rice, wheat and soybean stocks, securing basics foodstuffs for 20% of the world’s population. As a subsequent development, the war in Ukraine has ensured that global grain supplies this year will be short, and sanctions against Russia have effectively cut off her exports from the unfriendly nations. Together with fertiliser shortages for the same reasons, not only will the world’s crop yields fall below last year’s, but grain prices are sure to be bid up against the poorer nations. Russia has effectively tied the rouble to energy prices by insisting roubles are used for payment, principally by the EU. Russia’s other two large markets are China and India, from which she is accepting yuan and rupees respectively. Putting sales to India to one side, Russia is not only commoditising the rouble, but her largest trading partner not just for energy but for all her other commodity exports is China. And China is following similar monetary policies. There are good reasons for it. The Western alliance is undermining their own currencies, of that there can be no question. Financial asset values will collapse as interest rates rise. Contrastingly, not only is Russia’s trade surplus increasing, but the central bank has begun to ease interest rates and exchange controls and will continue to liberate her economy against a background of a strong currency. The era of the commodity backed currency is arriving to replace the financialised. And lastly, we should refer to Figure 2, of the price of oil in goldgrams. The link to commodity prices is gold. It is time to abandon financial assets for their supposed investment returns and take a stake in the new commoditised currencies. Gold is the link. Business of all sorts, not just mining enterprises which accumulate cash surpluses, would be well advised to question whether they should retain deposits in the banks, or alternatively, gain the protection of possessing some gold bullion vaulted independently from the banking system. Tyler Durden Fri, 04/15/2022 - 15:00.....»»

Category: dealsSource: nytApr 15th, 2022

Making Sense of Evolving Earnings Estimates

These margin pressures have been a contributing factor to the recent negative shift in the revisions trend, which consistently remained positive since July 2020. You can see this in the revisions trend for 2021 Q4... Note: The following is an excerpt from this week’s Earnings Trends report. You can access the full report that contains detailed historical actual and estimates for the current and following periods, please click here>>>The market has been focused on the rising cost of inputs and labor and other supply chain issue for the last few months. There was tangible nervousness on Wall Street ahead of the start of the Q3 earnings season that these headwinds would start weighing on corporate profits through compressed margins.We saw some of that in the Q3 reporting cycle, with a number of companies struggling to effectively deal with higher input and labor costs. Even mighty Apple AAPL and Amazon AMZN came up short in their quarterly reports as a result of these developments. But many other companies have been able to pass on higher costs to the end consumer.Higher expenses prompted Amazon to cut 2021 Q4 guidance, with the company outlining $6 billion in incremental higher outlays, of which $2 billion was on account of labor cost inflation. Supply-chain issues were behind Apple’s revenue miss, with logistical challenges shaving an estimated $6 billion from the company’s Q3 top line.  While these unfavorable cost trends may not have had as much negative impact on earnings as many had feared ahead of the start of the Q3 reporting cycle, they still remain a risk to long-term earnings trends. In fact, a number of sectors where the margin cushion is already fairly thin, struggled with these trends.A notable sector suffering such a margin squeeze in the Q3 reporting cycle was Consumer Staples whose Q3 earnings growth of +4.4% on +11.8% higher revenues included a 100 basis-points net margin contraction. The Utilities, Autos, Retail and Construction sectors suffered margin squeezes as well, though relatively less pronounced compared to Consumer Staples. Net margins for the index as a whole are expected to expand 81 basis points in 2021 Q4, though they are expected to be below the year-earlier level for 6 of the 16 Zacks sectors. These include Consumer Staples, Utilities, Industrials, Retail, Autos and Technology.These margin pressures have been a contributing factor to the recent negative shift in the revisions trend, which consistently remained positive since July 2020. You can see this in the revisions trend for 2021 Q4.Image Source: Zacks Investment ResearchThe chart below provides a big-picture view of earnings on a quarterly basis.Image Source: Zacks Investment ResearchThe chart below shows the overall earnings picture on an annual basis, with the growth momentum expected to continue.Image Source: Zacks Investment ResearchWe remain positive in our earnings outlook, as we see the overall growth picture steadily improving, as the near-term logistical issues get addressed. 5 Stocks Set to Double Each was handpicked by a Zacks expert as the #1 favorite stock to gain +100% or more in 2021. Previous recommendations have soared +143.0%, +175.9%, +498.3% and +673.0%. Most of the stocks in this report are flying under Wall Street radar, which provides a great opportunity to get in on the ground floor.Today, See These 5 Potential Home Runs >>Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report Amazon.com, Inc. (AMZN): Free Stock Analysis Report Apple Inc. (AAPL): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here. Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacksDec 15th, 2021

Making Sense of Evolving Earnings Estimates

These margin pressures have been a contributing factor to the recent negative shift in the revisions trend, which consistently remained positive since July 2020. You can see this in the revisions trend for 2021 Q4... Note: The following is an excerpt from this week’s Earnings Trends report. You can access the full report that contains detailed historical actual and estimates for the current and following periods, please click here>>>The market has been focused on the rising cost of inputs and labor and other supply chain issue for the last few months. There was tangible nervousness on Wall Street ahead of the start of the Q3 earnings season that these headwinds would start weighing on corporate profits through compressed margins.We saw some of that in the Q3 reporting cycle, with a number of companies struggling to effectively deal with higher input and labor costs. Even mighty Apple AAPL and Amazon AMZN came up short in their quarterly reports as a result of these developments. But many other companies have been able to pass on higher costs to the end consumer.Higher expenses prompted Amazon to cut 2021 Q4 guidance, with the company outlining $6 billion in incremental higher outlays, of which $2 billion was on account of labor cost inflation. Supply-chain issues were behind Apple’s revenue miss, with logistical challenges shaving an estimated $6 billion from the company’s Q3 top line.  While these unfavorable cost trends may not have had as much negative impact on earnings as many had feared ahead of the start of the Q3 reporting cycle, they still remain a risk to long-term earnings trends. In fact, a number of sectors where the margin cushion is already fairly thin, struggled with these trends.A notable sector suffering such a margin squeeze in the Q3 reporting cycle was Consumer Staples whose Q3 earnings growth of +4.4% on +11.8% higher revenues included a 100 basis-points net margin contraction. The Utilities, Autos, Retail and Construction sectors suffered margin squeezes as well, though relatively less pronounced compared to Consumer Staples. Net margins for the index as a whole are expected to expand 81 basis points in 2021 Q4, though they are expected to be below the year-earlier level for 6 of the 16 Zacks sectors. These include Consumer Staples, Utilities, Industrials, Retail, Autos and Technology.These margin pressures have been a contributing factor to the recent negative shift in the revisions trend, which consistently remained positive since July 2020. You can see this in the revisions trend for 2021 Q4.Image Source: Zacks Investment ResearchThe chart below provides a big-picture view of earnings on a quarterly basis.Image Source: Zacks Investment ResearchThe chart below shows the overall earnings picture on an annual basis, with the growth momentum expected to continue.Image Source: Zacks Investment ResearchWe remain positive in our earnings outlook, as we see the overall growth picture steadily improving, as the near-term logistical issues get addressed. 5 Stocks Set to Double Each was handpicked by a Zacks expert as the #1 favorite stock to gain +100% or more in 2021. Previous recommendations have soared +143.0%, +175.9%, +498.3% and +673.0%. Most of the stocks in this report are flying under Wall Street radar, which provides a great opportunity to get in on the ground floor.Today, See These 5 Potential Home Runs >>Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report Amazon.com, Inc. (AMZN): Free Stock Analysis Report Apple Inc. (AAPL): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here. Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacksDec 15th, 2021

Breaking Down the Outlook for Margins

Margin expectations embedded in current consensus earnings and revenue estimates for the coming periods suggest some pressures... Note: The following is an excerpt from this week’s Earnings Trends report. You can access the full report that contains detailed historical actual and estimates for the current and following periods, please click here>>>The market has been focused on the rising cost of inputs and labor and other supply chain issue for the last few months. There was tangible nervousness in the market ahead of the start of the Q3 earnings season that these headwinds will start weighing on corporate profits through compressed margins.We have seen some of that this earnings season, with companies like Brinker International EAT struggling to effectively deal with higher input and labor costs. Even mighty Apple AAPL and Amazon AMZN came up short in their quarterly reports as a result of these developments. But many other companies have been able to pass on higher costs to the end consumer.Higher expenses prompted Amazon to cut 2021 Q4 guidance, with the company outlining $6 billion in incremental higher outlays, of which $2 billion was on account of labor cost inflation. Supply-chain issues were behind Apple’s revenue miss, with the logistical challenge shaving an estimated $6 billion from the company’s Q3 top line.  While these unfavorable cost trends may not have had as much negative impact on earnings as many had feared ahead of the start of the Q3 reporting cycle, they still remain a risk to long-term earnings trends. In fact, a number of sectors where the margin cushion is already fairly thin, appear to be struggling with these trends.A notable sector suffering such a margin squeeze in the ongoing Q3 reporting cycle is Consumer Staples whose Q3 earnings growth of +5.9% on +14.0% includes a 110 basis-point net margin contraction. The Utilities, Autos, Retail and Construction sectors are also suffering margin squeezes, though relatively less pronounced compared to Consumer Staples. Margin expectations embedded in current consensus earnings and revenue estimates for the coming periods suggest some pressures, as you can see below.Image Source: Zacks Investment ResearchBut this is expected to be nothing more than a temporary speed bump. This becomes clear in the annual margins picture seen below.Image Source: Zacks Investment ResearchThe chart below provides a big-picture view of earnings on a quarterly basis.Image Source: Zacks Investment ResearchThe chart below shows the overall earnings picture on an annual basis, with the growth momentum expected to continue.Image Source: Zacks Investment ResearchWe remain positive in our earnings outlook, as we see the overall growth picture steadily improving, as the near-term logistical issues get addressed. Zacks’ Top Picks to Cash in on Artificial Intelligence This world-changing technology is projected to generate $100s of billions by 2025. From self-driving cars to consumer data analysis, people are relying on machines more than we ever have before. Now is the time to capitalize on the 4th Industrial Revolution. Zacks’ urgent special report reveals 6 AI picks investors need to know about today.See 6 Artificial Intelligence Stocks With Extreme Upside Potential>>Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report Amazon.com, Inc. (AMZN): Free Stock Analysis Report Apple Inc. (AAPL): Free Stock Analysis Report Brinker International, Inc. (EAT): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here. Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacksNov 18th, 2021

Breaking Down the Outlook for Margins

Margin expectations embedded in current consensus earnings and revenue estimates for the coming periods suggest some pressures... Note: The following is an excerpt from this week’s Earnings Trends report. You can access the full report that contains detailed historical actual and estimates for the current and following periods, please click here>>>The market has been focused on the rising cost of inputs and labor and other supply chain issue for the last few months. There was tangible nervousness in the market ahead of the start of the Q3 earnings season that these headwinds will start weighing on corporate profits through compressed margins.We have seen some of that this earnings season, with companies like Brinker International EAT struggling to effectively deal with higher input and labor costs. Even mighty Apple AAPL and Amazon AMZN came up short in their quarterly reports as a result of these developments. But many other companies have been able to pass on higher costs to the end consumer.Higher expenses prompted Amazon to cut 2021 Q4 guidance, with the company outlining $6 billion in incremental higher outlays, of which $2 billion was on account of labor cost inflation. Supply-chain issues were behind Apple’s revenue miss, with the logistical challenge shaving an estimated $6 billion from the company’s Q3 top line.  While these unfavorable cost trends may not have had as much negative impact on earnings as many had feared ahead of the start of the Q3 reporting cycle, they still remain a risk to long-term earnings trends. In fact, a number of sectors where the margin cushion is already fairly thin, appear to be struggling with these trends.A notable sector suffering such a margin squeeze in the ongoing Q3 reporting cycle is Consumer Staples whose Q3 earnings growth of +5.9% on +14.0% includes a 110 basis-point net margin contraction. The Utilities, Autos, Retail and Construction sectors are also suffering margin squeezes, though relatively less pronounced compared to Consumer Staples. Margin expectations embedded in current consensus earnings and revenue estimates for the coming periods suggest some pressures, as you can see below.Image Source: Zacks Investment ResearchBut this is expected to be nothing more than a temporary speed bump. This becomes clear in the annual margins picture seen below.Image Source: Zacks Investment ResearchThe chart below provides a big-picture view of earnings on a quarterly basis.Image Source: Zacks Investment ResearchThe chart below shows the overall earnings picture on an annual basis, with the growth momentum expected to continue.Image Source: Zacks Investment ResearchWe remain positive in our earnings outlook, as we see the overall growth picture steadily improving, as the near-term logistical issues get addressed. Zacks’ Top Picks to Cash in on Artificial Intelligence This world-changing technology is projected to generate $100s of billions by 2025. From self-driving cars to consumer data analysis, people are relying on machines more than we ever have before. Now is the time to capitalize on the 4th Industrial Revolution. Zacks’ urgent special report reveals 6 AI picks investors need to know about today.See 6 Artificial Intelligence Stocks With Extreme Upside Potential>>Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report Amazon.com, Inc. (AMZN): Free Stock Analysis Report Apple Inc. (AAPL): Free Stock Analysis Report Brinker International, Inc. (EAT): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here. Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacksNov 18th, 2021

Third Quarter Earnings Season Begins Tomorrow: It Could Be Ugly

Third Quarter Earnings Season Begins Tomorrow: It Could Be Ugly As the following chart from Bloomberg shows, for six consecutive quarters, earnings season provided the antidote to all the stock market ills (if not on fundamentals but because stock stubbornly tracked the relentless growth of the Fed's balance sheet which rose by $120BN every month like clockwork). But that perfect record is about to get its biggest test yet at a time when uncertainty is swirling among equity investors, and not just because a potentially ugly earnings season is on deck but because the Fed's liquidity cannon is about to see its first "tapering" since the covid pandemic unleashed trillions and trillions in liquidity. Looking back, the large and persistent earnings beats over the last 5 quarters... ... prompted record upgrades to forward earnings estimates. The market has moved higher in lockstep with these upgrades... ... leaving the forward multiple remarkably flat at very elevated levels since May of last year. And as Deutsche Bank's Binky Chadha warns, "the market is priced for these large beats and upgrades to continue" but can Q3 earnings season deliver? And so, as jittery investors brace to comb through the corporate tea leaves for clarity on everything from the impact of rising rates and commodity inflation to broken supply chains, setting the stage for a particularly dramatic serving of results, below we take a loot at what Wall Street expects as 3Q earnings kick off tomorrow when JPM reports bright and early. Following another huge beat in 2Q, 3Q EPS has risen 3% over the past three months to $49.06 (+27% YoY), down from an eye-popping 94% Y/Y surge in Q2; typically this estimate falls by 4% into the quarter. According to BofA, consensus forecasts imply the 2-year growth rate falling sharply to +16% vs. +27% in 2Q amid supply chain issues and the delta variant-driven slowdown (the just released news about Apple slashing its iPhone production due to chip shortages being the latest case in point). In a conspicuous break from the last 4 quarters which saw upgrades, DB notes that Q3 consensus estimates are being downgraded ahead of the earnings season, marking a return to what has been the historical norm. Downgrades have largely been driven by the pandemic-loser group on delta variant concerns, and by insurers following the impacts of hurricane Ida. But even excluding these lumpy impacts, estimates have stayed flat in contrast to the upgrades of recent quarters. As is typical, the consensus sees a drop in earnings sequentially (-4.5% qoq excluding loan loss provisions)... ... with nearly all sector groups seeing declines. But that's usually the case and in the end, earnings growth usually comes in positive. Cutting to the chase, DB notes that amidst a macro backdrop that is a little less supportive than over the last 4 quarters, the bank sees earnings continuing to rise but only modestly so (+1.5% qoq), beating consensus by 6%, far lower than the 14-20% range of the last 5 quarters and closer to the historical average beat of 5% Expect no beat this quarter In Q2, S&P500 companies delivered another monstrous beat topping consensus by 17%. With the strong beat, 3Q EPS estimates have risen 3% over the past three months, but BofA sees increased headwinds heading into 3Q, primarily driven by supply chain issues, delta-driven slowdown, and continued inflationary pressure. That said, while there are reasons to be cautious, earnings misses are extremely rare: since 2009, there have been only two quarters (out of 50) when earnings missed consensus (2Q11 & 1Q20). And with consensus expecting a meaningful moderation in the 2-year growth rate to 16% from 27%, BofA's 3Q EPS estimate is in line with consensus, representing the worst earnings season since COVID and below the historical median beat of 3.5%. BofA generally agrees with DB, and expects earnings to come in in-line with consensus and revises its 3Q EPS down by $2 (to $49) and 4Q by $1. But, as has been the case for much of the past year, one of the top questions will be around guidance (which started to soften) and 2022 EPS will be revised lower. Another core question: who is best positioned to weather the surging input costs: “What we are going to be laser-focused on in this earnings season is pricing power,” said Giorgio Caputo, senior portfolio manager at J O Hambro Capital Management. “What we’re seeing is that getting the machine back up and running -- those who thought it would be an easy quick fix are being disappointed now.” Which leads us to the most important variable of Q3 season: profit margins. As we noted at the time, although margins expanded to record highs in 2Q, companies highlighted increasing difficulties passing through cost inflation. Since then, issues have worsened: supply chain news stories increased 74% and freight rates from China rose 20%... ... with record backlogs at the West Coast Ports. In 3Q, we also saw a near-record number of profit warnings stories (third highest since 2011), only after 4Q15 and 1Q19. In those quarters, earnings beat consensus by 0.6% and 4.9%, respectively, but subsequent quarter earnings were revised down by 9.3% and 2.2% mostly due to supply issues.Incidentally, we predicted that this would happen. If MS and BofA are right on slumping consumer demand and margin contraction we should start seeing Q3 earnings warnings in the next 2 weeks. — zerohedge (@zerohedge) August 30, 2021 To be sure, consumer demand remains robust but soaring inflation poses downside risks. While analysts have baked in margin  contraction this quarter (non-Financials net margins -70bps QoQ), both BofA and Morgan Stanley see big risks to 2022 numbers, where analysts expect record margins, an outcome which is virtually impossible unless all the input cost inflation is passed through to consumers. It's not just broken supply chains: wages are surging too; indeed as BofA writes, "wage inflation is just as big of a headwind (if not bigger)" than supply chains. The BEA estimates wages are as much as 40% of total private sector costs. At the same time, slowing China and its property sector issues also pose risks to US multinationals. And while higher oil prices have historically been positive for S&P earnings (every 100bps move up in WTI added 50bps to S&P earnings growth), but Energy companies’ capital discipline could translate to a lower earnings multiplier (i.e. less revenue for energy capex beneficiaries). Soaring gas prices also add pressure to Chemicals and Utilities. In other words, higher oil could be a headwind rather than a tailwind this time. Mentions of “inflation” on 2Q earnings calls topped 1Q levels and jumped to a record high, based on BofA's Predictive Analytics team’s analysis. On a YoY basis, inflation mentions rose more than 900% YoY, in line with the increase we saw last quarter. Notably, supply chain mentions rose the most among inflation categories tracked in 2Q, more than doubling YoY (along with labor mentions). Since then, supply chain issues have worsened: news stories on “supply chain” increased 74% since the 2Q earnings season according to Bloomberg, and freight rates from China also rose 20% (Exhibit 10) And yet, amid all these rising margin risks, analysts are expecting margins to hit a new peak in 2022! Consistent with recent developments, consensus does point to a 70bps drop in net margins (ex-Fins) to 12.0% in 3Q, which does reflect some conservatism. However, they then expect the margin compression to stop there – with flattish margins in 4Q21, and expanding margins in 2022 to new record highs (above 2018 peaks). Analysts expect margins to hit new highs in 4 of 10 sectors, excluding Financials (Exhibit 14). BofA disagrees and expects current headwinds to last well into 2022, and sees risk to consensus numbers. As the bank cautions, "analysts have consistently underestimated margins over the past five quarters, but given the worsened macro environment for corporate profits (more below), we do not expect those big margin beats to repeat in 3Q." And with good reason: the early reporters have shared mixed data at best. So far, 21 companies (primarily “early reporters” with August quarter-end) have reported 3Q results. Early reporters are concentrated in Consumer, Tech and Industrials, but can often give a read on the full quarter’s results: BofA has found a 71% correlation between the proportion of early reporter beats on EPS and sales and the proportion of full-quarter beats on EPS and sales. So far, 67% have beaten on EPS, 76% on sales and 57% on both. This is weaker than last quarter (67%/94%/67%), but still above the historical average (since 2012) of 70%  EPS beats, 63% sales beats and 49% both beats. The median EPS beat so far has been 4.0%. More ominously, BofA's 3-month guidance ratio (# of above- vs. below-consensus guidance instances) sharply fell from a record high to 2.6x in September, albeit it remains well above the historical average of 0.8x. The more volatile 1-mo. guidance ratio also fell to 1.2x, representing the lowest level since Jun 2020, as companies warned about rising inflationary pressure. Meanwhile, guidance instances have picked up to the highest level in a decade in September. But perhaps the most troubling indication of what to expect comes from companies themselves after what BofA notes was peak corporate sentiment. According to BofA’s Predictive Analytics team overall, corporate sentiment dipped from a record high, potentially indicating peak corporate sentiment amid inflation concerns and the Delta variant. Consumer sectors had the weakest sentiment compared to their own history, while Materials and Real Estate had the worst sentiment on an absolute basis. Similarly, companies' mentions of business conditions (ratio of mentions of "better" or "stronger" vs. "worse" or "weaker") indicate slightly weaker business conditions vs. the peak level last quarter. Mentions of optimism also plummeted from record highs in the prior two quarters. Putting it all together, below is a handy list of what to expect courtesy of Deutsche Bank: The macro backdrop is a little less supportive. After having been strongly positive for over a year, data surprises turned negative in late-July. Earnings estimate revisions have historically been tied to data surprises. Consensus Q3 GDP estimates have also been revised downwards from over 7% at the end of Jul to 5% now. DB economists also cut their Q3 GDP forecast for growth from 8.9% to 4.7% in early September. The sales-weighted G4 manufacturing PMI, a preferred measure of global growth, rose sharply from its trough of 42.4 in Q2 2020 to 59.3 in Q2 2021. In Q3 so far, it has stayed flat (Jul-Aug average of 59.4). The US dollar is also up slightly in Q3 after 4 quarters of declines. Secular growers (MCG+ Tech) earnings likely to flatten at an elevated level. Earnings for MCG+ Tech have been boosted well above trend by a broad cyclical lift as well as from being direct beneficiaries given the realities of the pandemic. The cyclical component which is tied to global growth and the US dollar is likely to stay flat. With re-opening having gathered steam through the quarter, the idiosyncratic pandemic-related benefit should arguably start to wane, but even if the full benefit were to remain intact, it would still point to earnings overall staying largely flat (0.4%). With consensus seeing a drop (-4.5%), DB sees a beat of about 5.2%, a sharp slowdown from the 10-17% beats they posted over the last 5 quarters, but in line with the historical average of 6%. Notably, earnings remaining flat would also mean a modest move back towards their historical trend with the gap shrinking from a record +25% in Q2 to +22% in Q3. Cyclicals earnings almost back to trend. The consensus sees losses for the pandemic losers diminishing in Q3 (-$6.6bn to -$2.4bn) as mobility rose albeit not as quickly as initially expected. Outside of the direct pandemic losers, the rest of the cyclicals in our view should continue to post modest growth (+1.7% qoq sa) as activity levels remain robust at elevated levels. Consensus sees earnings for cyclicals declining modestly (-0.4%), implying a beat of 8%, a sharp slowdown from the 14-38% range seen in the past four quarters, but ahead of the historic average level of 5.2%. If realized, cyclicals earnings would be almost back to their pre-pandemic trend, a strong and fast recovery after being over 70% below in Q2 last year Defensives earnings likely to move back down towards trend. Earnings for the defensives were significantly above trend in Q2 (+7%), as they continued to benefit from a pandemic boost. We see earnings retrace halfway back to trend in Q3 implying a modest  (-1.5% qoq sa) decline, while the consensus sees a larger -6.3% drop, pointing to a potential 5.1% beat in the quarter. If realized, this would be the weakest aggregate beat since the start of the pandemic, which has seen surprises in the 7-18% range, but at about the average level of pre-pandemic beats (historical average of 4.4%). Financials to continue posting outsized beats as benign credit costs remain a tailwind. Banks released large amounts from loan loss reserves in the past two quarters ($13.8bn in Q1 and $9.5bn in Q2), boosting earnings, and that is expected to continue given benign credit conditions. However, the consensus sees banks adding to reserves in Q3 ($3.8bn). Moreover, excluding loan-loss provisions the consensus sees earnings fall to the bottom of their 2013-19 trend channel. Together this points to a massive 29% beat again this quarter, in line with the 13-36% range of the last five quarters and way ahead of the typical +4.2% average. Energy. Oil prices have risen from $69/bbl in Q2 to $73/bbl in Q3 on average. The consensus forecasts Energy sector earnings to grow 22.5% (qoq) in Q3, which is somewhat ahead of what is implied by the increase in oil prices. DB sees lower earnings growth of 12.8% qoq, which could see the sector miss (-8%) in the quarter, in contrast with the solid double digit beats of the past four quarters and a historic average beat of 6.4%. Energy earnings beats historically have tended to be extremely volatile. Overall beats to remain robust but returning towards the historical norm. DB sees earnings for the S&P 500 rising modestly by +0.8% and EPS coming in at $53.6/share in Q3 2021. This compares with the consensus at $49.2/share, or a beat of 9%, significantly lower than the 14-21% range of the last 5 quarters. Excluding the outsized contribution from lumpy loan-loss reserve changes, DB expects a beat of 6.3%, close to the historical average of 5% and compares to the 10-21% range of the last 5 quarters In conclusion, and as noted earlier, huge beats and upward revisions kept the forward consensus rising steeply over the last 15 months according to DB's Chadha. Since then, consensus estimates for 2021 have edged slightly lower over the last few weeks (-0.2%), while 2022 estimates have flat-lined. The 4 quarter ahead growth rate of consensus estimates has now fallen to the steady pre-pandemic average (around 14%). In the absence of upgrades, current forecasts point to the growth rate falling well below (11%) over the next 2-3 quarters. As beats and forward earnings look to be returning to historical norms, will forward valuations follow? Tyler Durden Tue, 10/12/2021 - 18:55.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeOct 12th, 2021

4 Top Building Products Stocks to Buy Amid Industry Challenges

Although supply-chain issues and rising input prices are concerns for the Zacks Building Products - Miscellaneous industry, focus on operational efficiencies and higher govt spending raise hopes for URI, ACA, JBI and NX. Continued supply-chain bottlenecks, investments in new products and higher raw material costs may keep margins under pressure. Also, the current U.S. housing market slowdown is expected to lower demand for Zacks Building Products - Miscellaneous industry players’ products. However, companies like United Rentals, Inc. URI, Arcosa, Inc. ACA, Janus International Group, Inc. JBI and Quanex Building Products Corporation NX are set to benefit from operational excellence, geographic and product diversification strategies, accretive buyouts and higher government spending for infrastructural enhancement.Industry DescriptionThe Zacks Building Products - Miscellaneous industry primarily comprises manufacturers, designers, and distributors of home improvement and building products like ceiling systems, doors, and windows as well as flooring and metal products. Some industry players provide solutions to rehabilitate the aging infrastructure, primarily pipelines in wastewater, water, energy, mining and refining industries. The companies also manufacture expansion joints and structural bearings, ventilation products, ground-mounted solar racking and commercial greenhouses as well as mail storage (solutions including mailboxes along with package delivery products). Companies in this industrial cohort also rent out equipment to a diverse customer base that includes construction and industrial companies, manufacturers, utilities, municipalities, homeowners as well as government entities.3 Trends Shaping the Future of the Building Products IndustrySupply Chain & Inflationary Woes: Inflationary headwinds with respect to transportation costs, material costs and energy costs owing to supply chain disruptions have been a pressing concern. Also, rising labor costs are compressing margins. These are dampening the companies’ operating performance. Rising costs related to steel, asphalt, resin and other input materials are compressing margins. Although the companies have been working to recover higher costs through various price increases, they expect this ongoing volatility in material and transportation costs to persist in the near term as well. Meanwhile, the companies have been witnessing short-term project delays due to material and labor shortages that are impacting upstream building activity. This may result in lower backlog in the near term.Apart from higher raw material costs, the companies bear expenses related to product launches. If companies are unable to offset these costs through price increases or supply chain initiatives, then it may affect profits.Also, as the industry players’ business prospects are highly correlated with U.S. housing market conditions and repair and remodeling activity, the current slowdown in the market may prove detrimental.Operational Excellence, Product Innovation & Acquisitions: The industry participants have been carrying out strong cost-saving initiatives like business consolidation, system implementations, plant/branch closures, improvement in the global supply chain and headcount reductions to boost profitability. Industry participants have also been strategically investing in new products, sales and support services, digitally-enabled solutions as well as advanced manufacturing capabilities to boost revenues. The companies are also following a systematic acquisition strategy to supplement organic growth, and expand access to additional markets as well as products.U.S. Administration’s Infrastructural Spending: The industry players are expected to benefit from strong global trends in infrastructure modernization, energy transition, national security, and a potential super-cycle in global supply chain investments. The U.S. administration’s endeavor to rebuild the nation’s deteriorating roads and bridges and fund new climate-resilient and broadband initiatives is expected to aid the companies.Zacks Industry Rank Indicates Dull ProspectsThe Zacks Building Products – Miscellaneous industry is a 29-stock group within the broader Zacks Construction sector. The industry currently carries a Zacks Industry Rank #185, which places it in the bottom 26% of more than 250 Zacks industries.The group’s Zacks Industry Rank, which is basically the average of the Zacks Rank of all the member stocks, indicates solid near-term prospects. Our research shows that the top 50% of the Zacks-ranked industries outperform the bottom 50% by a factor of more than 2 to 1.The industry’s positioning in the bottom 50% of the Zacks-ranked industries is a result of negative earnings outlook for the constituent companies in aggregate. Looking at the aggregate earnings estimate revisions, it appears that analysts are gradually losing confidence in this group’s earnings growth potential. Since May 2022, the industry’s earnings estimates for 2022 have been revised downward to $3.52 per share from $3.57.Despite the industry’s gloomy near-term view, we will present a few stocks that one may consider adding to their portfolio. Before that, it’s worth taking a look at the industry’s shareholder returns and current valuation.Industry Lags S&P 500 & SectorThe Zacks Building Products – Miscellaneous industry has underperformed the Zacks S&P 500 composite and the broader Zacks Construction sector over the past year.Over this period, the industry has lost 25.7% compared with the S&P 500’s decline of 11.6% and the broader sector’s 21.9% decrease.One-Year Price Performance Industry's Current ValuationOn the basis of the forward 12-month price to earnings, which is a commonly used multiple for valuing building products’ stocks, the industry is trading at 11.2X versus the S&P 500’s 16.4X and the sector’s 9.8X.Over the past five years, the industry has traded as high as 19.2X, as low as 7X and at a median of 13.9X, as the chart below shows.Industry’s P/E Ratio (Forward 12-Month) Versus S&P 5004 Building Product Stocks to Buy NowWe have selected four stocks from the Zacks universe of building products that currently carry a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) or 2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here. Quanex Building Products: This Houston, TX-based company provides components for the fenestration industry worldwide. Despite ongoing challenges related to inflation and the supply chain, NX registered higher demand for its products during the second quarter of fiscal 2022, and it has started to see the benefit of its pass-through pricing strategy, which drove revenue growth and improved profitability. The company expects further margin expansion in the second half of fiscal 2022 despite inflationary pressure. It remains focused on generating cash, paying down debt and opportunistically repurchasing stock.Importantly, Quanex — which has slipped 9.1% in the past year — has seen a 21.8% upward estimate revision for fiscal 2022 earnings over the past 30 days. This Zacks Rank #1 company’s earnings for fiscal 2022 are expected to rise 34.3% from fiscal 2021.Price and Consensus: NXArcosa: This Dallas, TX-based company provides infrastructure-related products and solutions. The company remains focused on its long-term vision to lessen the complexity of Arcosa’s overall portfolio and shift its business mix toward less cyclical, higher-margin growth opportunities that leverage core strengths and drive long-term shareholder value creation. Recently, it has signed a deal to sell its storage tanks business and it aims to invest the proceeds into its key growth businesses. Also, ACA’s inorganic drive to expand its portfolio, improved efficiencies in utility structures business, coupled with solid execution in cyclical businesses, should drive growth.Arcosa, a Zacks Rank #2 stock, has declined 22% over the past year. That said, ACA has seen an upward estimate revision for 2022 earnings over the past 30 days to $1.83 per share from $1.79.Price and Consensus: ACAJanus International Group: Headquartered in Temple, GA, this company manufacturers, supplies turn-key self-storage and commercial and industrial building solutions. Solid backlog level and project pipeline, productivity improvements, and commercial actions, including pricing, are expected to drive growth. The company is expected to benefit from its one-stop-shop offering with a leading market share position in self-storage doors and related design and installation services.Janus, also a Zacks Rank #2 stock, has declined 36.3% over the past year. That said, JBI has seen an upward estimate revision for 2022 earnings over the past 60 days to 64 cents per share from 54 cents. Price and Consensus: JBIUnited Rentals: Headquartered in Stamford, CT, United Rentals is the largest equipment rental company in the world. This company has been gaining from better fleet productivity on broad-based rental demand in construction and industrial verticals. It remains optimistic for 2022 buoyed by positive customer sentiments and used equipment demand as well as consistent share growth opportunities in certain non-residential verticals, including power, healthcare, distribution, and technology.URI, a Zacks Rank #2 stock, has dropped 24.4% over the past year. That said, URI has seen an upward estimate revision of 1.4% for 2022 earnings over the past 60 days to $29.79 per share. The company’s earnings for 2022 are expected to increase 35%. Price and Consensus: URI Zacks Names "Single Best Pick to Double" From thousands of stocks, 5 Zacks experts each have chosen their favorite to skyrocket +100% or more in months to come. From those 5, Director of Research Sheraz Mian hand-picks one to have the most explosive upside of all. It’s a little-known chemical company that’s up 65% over last year, yet still dirt cheap. With unrelenting demand, soaring 2022 earnings estimates, and $1.5 billion for repurchasing shares, retail investors could jump in at any time. This company could rival or surpass other recent Zacks’ Stocks Set to Double like Boston Beer Company which shot up +143.0% in little more than 9 months and NVIDIA which boomed +175.9% in one year.Free: See Our Top Stock and 4 Runners Up >>Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report United Rentals, Inc. (URI): Free Stock Analysis Report Quanex Building Products Corporation (NX): Free Stock Analysis Report Arcosa, Inc. (ACA): Free Stock Analysis Report Janus International Group, Inc. (JBI): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here. Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacksJun 30th, 2022

Here"s Why Investors Should Retain CVS Health (CVS) For Now

Investors are optimistic about CVS Health's (CVS) robust revenue growth across its operating segments. CVS Health Corporation CVS has been registering solid performances across all three operating segments. High pharmacy claims volume, specialty pharmacy growth and brand inflation aided Pharmacy Services arm. Growth in the Retail segment can be mainly attributed to increased prescription and front store volume. However, weak margins and stiff competition do not bode well.In the past year, the Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) stock has gained 12.4% compared with 0.5% growth of the industry and a 9.2% fall of the S&P 500.The renowned pharmacy innovation company has a market capitalization of $123.95 billion. The company’s long-term projected growth rate of 7.6% compares with the industry’s growth projection of 6.3% and the S&P 500’s estimated 11.4% increase. The company beat earnings estimates in the trailing four quarters, the average surprise being 8.2%.Image Source: Zacks Investment ResearchLet’s delve deeper.Factors At PlayHealth Care Benefit Shows Potential: CVS Health’s Health Care Benefits segment delivered strong revenue growth, banking on membership growth across all product lines. In the first quarter, the company saw membership growth of more than 670,000 sequentially. The Medicare franchise continued to benefit the segment as Medicare Advantage grew by about 200,000 members sequentially. The company recorded a medical benefit ratio of 83.5% within the commercial business, indicating continued progression toward normalized total medical costs.Also, the company is benefiting from the broad and unique portfolio of assets with the first CVS-Aetna co-branded offerings.Pharmacy Services Business Gaining Traction: We are encouraged by CVS Health’s robust revenue performance within Pharmacy Services on increased pharmacy claims volume, specialty pharmacy growth and brand inflation. During the first quarter, total pharmacy claims processed rose 5.8% on a 30-day equivalent basis. This upside can be attributable to strong net new business, greater utilization, and a weaker cough, cold, and flu season in the prior year.CVS Health also maintained an impressive 98% core client retention by the end of the quarter under review. The company expects to return to its historical retention levels in future periods.Retail on a Growth Track: The Retail/Long Term Care (LTC) segment plays a crucial role in the CVS Health’s community-focused strategy. In the first quarter, this business witnessed 9.2% growth year over year on increased prescription and front store volume. Prescriptions filled increased 5.1% on a 30-day equivalent basis compared to the year-ago period. The company also administered more than 6 million COVID tests and over 8 million COVID vaccines nationwide in the reported quarter.CVS Health is currently optimizing the retail portfolio, which will consist of three models: advanced primary care clinics, enhanced health hub locations and traditional CVS pharmacy locations.DownsidesWeak Margin Scenario: During the first quarter, CVS Health’s gross margin contracted 69 basis points (bps) to 17.4% on a 12.1% uptick in total cost (including Benefit Cost). Meanwhile, operating costs in the quarter rose 10.7% year over year, resulting in a 2.4% drop in operating profit, with a 63-bp contraction in operating margin to 4.5%.Reimbursement Headwinds: The Pharmacy Services and Retail/LTC segments continue to be challenged by ongoing pharmacy reimbursement pressure. CVS Health is undertaking efforts to combat this reimbursement pressure by increasing volume and reducing costs.Competitive Landscape: Intense competition and tough industry conditions are major impediments for CVS Health. Competition is especially tough in the pharmacy segment, as other retail businesses continue to add pharmacy departments and low-cost pharmacy options become available.Estimate TrendIn the past 30 days, the Zacks Consensus Estimate for CVS Health’s 2022 earnings moved up to $8.34 by a penny.The Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2022 revenues is pegged at $308.65 billion, suggesting a 5.7% rise from the 2021 reported number.Other Key PicksA few better-ranked stocks in the broader medical space that investors can consider are Alkermes plc ALKS, Novo Nordisk NVO and Masimo Corporation MASI.Alkermes has an estimated long-term growth rate of 25.1%. Alkermes’ earnings surpassed estimates in the trailing four quarters, the average surprise being 350.5%. It currently carries a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.Alkermes has outperformed the industry in the past year. ALKS has gained 20.7% against the industry’s 40.3% decline in the said period.Novo Nordisk has a long-term earnings growth rate of 14.5%. The company surpassed earnings estimates in the trailing four quarters, delivering a surprise of 7.6%, on average. It currently flaunts a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).Novo Nordisk has outperformed its industry in the past year. NVO has gained 34.6% against the industry’s 19% growth.Masimo has a historical earnings growth rate of 15.1%. Masimo’s earnings surpassed estimates in the trailing four quarters, the average surprise being 4.4%. It currently carries a Zacks Rank #2.Masimo has underperformed its industry in the past year. MASI has declined 44.2% compared with the industry’s 25.4% plunge. Just Released: Zacks Top 10 Stocks for 2022 In addition to the investment ideas discussed above, would you like to know about our 10 top picks for the entirety of 2022? From inception in 2012 through 2021, the Zacks Top 10 Stocks portfolios gained an impressive +1,001.2% versus the S&P 500’s +348.7%. Now our Director of Research has combed through 4,000 companies covered by the Zacks Rank and has handpicked the best 10 tickers to buy and hold. Don’t miss your chance to get in…because the sooner you do, the more upside you stand to grab.See Stocks Now >>Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report Novo Nordisk AS (NVO): Free Stock Analysis Report Alkermes plc (ALKS): Free Stock Analysis Report Masimo Corporation (MASI): Free Stock Analysis Report CVS Health Corporation (CVS): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here. Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacksJun 27th, 2022

The Bear Market Has Been Confirmed. Here’s What To Do.

It’s confirmed: We’re in a bear market. The plunge on June 13 put the S&P 500 down 20% from its January peak… which qualifies this as the first bear market since 2020… and 2008 before that. Markets are ugly: Source: FinViz You’re looking at a recent “heat map” of the S&P 500. The stocks in […] It’s confirmed: We’re in a bear market. The plunge on June 13 put the S&P 500 down 20% from its January peak… which qualifies this as the first bear market since 2020… and 2008 before that. Markets are ugly: Source: FinViz You’re looking at a recent “heat map” of the S&P 500. The stocks in red were all down two weeks ago. Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) dropped 10%… Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) and Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) fell 6%… the list goes on. The few in green—mostly oil stocks—managed to inch higher. if (typeof jQuery == 'undefined') { document.write(''); } .first{clear:both;margin-left:0}.one-third{width:31.034482758621%;float:left;margin-left:3.448275862069%}.two-thirds{width:65.51724137931%;float:left}form.ebook-styles .af-element input{border:0;border-radius:0;padding:8px}form.ebook-styles .af-element{width:220px;float:left}form.ebook-styles .af-element.buttonContainer{width:115px;float:left;margin-left: 6px;}form.ebook-styles .af-element.buttonContainer input.submit{width:115px;padding:10px 6px 8px;text-transform:uppercase;border-radius:0;border:0;font-size:15px}form.ebook-styles .af-body.af-standards input.submit{width:115px}form.ebook-styles .af-element.privacyPolicy{width:100%;font-size:12px;margin:10px auto 0}form.ebook-styles .af-element.privacyPolicy p{font-size:11px;margin-bottom:0}form.ebook-styles .af-body input.text{height:40px;padding:2px 10px !important} form.ebook-styles .error, form.ebook-styles #error { color:#d00; } form.ebook-styles .formfields h1, form.ebook-styles .formfields #mg-logo, form.ebook-styles .formfields #mg-footer { display: none; } form.ebook-styles .formfields { font-size: 12px; } form.ebook-styles .formfields p { margin: 4px 0; } Get The Full Series in PDF Get the entire 10-part series on Charlie Munger in PDF. Save it to your desktop, read it on your tablet, or email to your colleagues. (function($) {window.fnames = new Array(); window.ftypes = new Array();fnames[0]='EMAIL';ftypes[0]='email';}(jQuery));var $mcj = jQuery.noConflict(true); Q1 2022 hedge fund letters, conferences and more Of course, it’s not just the S&P 500 struggling… The tech-heavy Nasdaq is hitting lows not seen since 2020. And the Russell 2000, which tracks small-cap stocks, is flirting with lows not seen since 2018. But outside of stocks, there’s a notable sector that’s holding up pretty well… and even finished slightly in the green two weeks ago. Gold. Today, I’ll explain why this could be the start of a major rally for gold, and why gold and gold stocks need to be on your radar. But let’s first look at why stocks continue to take a beating. Inflation keeps roaring higher… Many investors were optimistic that inflation was finally cooling off a couple weeks ago. Instead they got a nasty surprise. Headlines showed the rate of inflation accelerated again in May. US inflation has now risen 8.6% from the same month a year ago. That’s its fastest pace since December 1981. There’s now talk that the Federal Reserve will raise its benchmark interest rate by 0.75% soon to cool inflation. That would be its biggest rate hike since 1994. If that happens, interest rates will have risen by a massive 1.75% in a single year. These rapidly tightening financial conditions are putting intense pressure on stock prices. Gold Is An Effective Hedge Against Inflation Gold prices, on the other hand, are hanging in there… Gold is a proven safe haven. For thousands of years, investors have used it to preserve their capital when markets get chaotic. Over long periods of time, owning gold is also an effective hedge against inflation. Because unlike stocks and bonds, gold’s value isn’t dependent on the value of the US dollar. Let’s look at how gold’s been holding up… You’re looking at the SPDR Gold Shares (GLD), which tracks the price of gold. Here, we’ve zoomed out to a three-year chart of GLD. As of June 14, you can see that it hasn’t broken down like many stocks have. Instead, it put in a higher low. Source: StockCharts GLD also continues to trade above its 200-day moving average (blue line). In other words, it’s bucking the trend in stocks and bonds. Gold is doing its job. Owning gold probably won’t make you rich… but it can help you minimize losses and ride out storms in the stock market. Gold looks even better compared to stocks… This next chart compares the performance of GLD with the SPDR S&P 500 ETF (SPY), which tracks the S&P 500. When this line is rising, gold is outperforming stocks. Below, you can see gold has been decisively beating stocks this year. This chart (as of June 14) shows a strong basing formation… which means there’s a strong likelihood gold will continue to outperform stocks for weeks or months. Source: StockCharts You should also keep a close eye on gold stocks… Gold stocks refer to gold miners, primarily. Gold miners have “leverage” to the price of gold. Meaning when gold moves an inch, gold stocks can move a mile. That makes gold stocks highly volatile—and therefore much riskier—than owning gold outright. Take a look at the VanEck Vectors Gold Miners ETF (GDX) below. Notice two things. One, gold stocks haven’t been immune to selling pressure. Two, gold stocks finished last week strongly. GDX is building a large base, which is a sign prices could soon move upwards: Source: StockCharts Keep in mind, gold stocks won’t stabilize your portfolio like gold will. Instead, they give you a chance to earn bigger, quicker profits when you catch an upswing. If gold prices continue to climb like I expect, gold miners look like a smart bet to see a big upswing. I’m watching gold and gold mining stocks very closely. If they continue to show strength, I’ll be buying. 3 Breakthrough Stocks Set to Double Your Money in 2022 Get our latest report where we reveal our three favorite stocks that can hand you 100% gains as they disrupt whole industries. Get your free copy here. Article By Justin Spittler, Mauldin Economics Updated on Jun 22, 2022, 12:32 pm (function() { var sc = document.createElement("script"); sc.type = "text/javascript"; sc.async = true;sc.src = "//mixi.media/data/js/95481.js"; sc.charset = "utf-8";var s = document.getElementsByTagName("script")[0]; s.parentNode.insertBefore(sc, s); }()); window._F20 = window._F20 || []; _F20.push({container: 'F20WidgetContainer', placement: '', count: 3}); _F20.push({finish: true});.....»»

Category: blogSource: valuewalkJun 22nd, 2022

Deflationary Tsunami On Deck: A "Tidal Wave" Of Discounts And Crashing Prices

Deflationary Tsunami On Deck: A "Tidal Wave" Of Discounts And Crashing Prices Three weeks ago, we showed readers what happens when the infamous "Bullwhip effect" reversal takes place by presenting the unprecedented surge in the "Inventory to Sales" ratio for a broad range of US retailers covering the furniture, home furnishings and appliances, building materials and garden equipment, and a category known as “other general merchandise,” which includes Walmart and Target. Since then, this ratio has only gotten even more extended, and as shown below it is now at the highest level since the bursting of the dot com bubble! What does this mean for retailers and the price of goods? Three weeks ago we said "Think: widespread inventory liquidations" and added... To be sure, not every product will see its price cut: commodities, whose bullwhip effect take much longer to manifest itself, usually lasting several years in either direction, are only just starting to see their price cycle higher. However, other products - like those carried by the Walmarts and Targets of the world - are about to see a deflationary plunge the likes of which we have not seen since the global financial crisis as retailers commence a voluntary destocking wave the likes of which have not been seen in over a decade. Today both Wall Street and the mainstream media have caught up, with both predicting unprecedented deflationary price cuts in the coming weeks. We start with Morgan Stanley's bearish strategist Michael Wilson, who in his latest bearish weekly note (available to pro subs) focused on shrinking margins in general, and on retailer discounting in particular, and wrote that while there is a modest pick up in over sales, the far more concerning issue is that "inventory across the sector is up about 30% YOY and sales growth is up about 0% YOY translating to approximately 30% YOY of excess inventory" and while mark down/margin pressure did not hit in 1Q it should hit June/July. Indeed, "store checks show that aggressive discounting has already started as of the Memorial Day holiday weekend. Discounting pressure could accelerate through July."  And since more retailers are now discounting, "companies are having to offer even bigger discounts to compel consumers to buy, and it is a race to the bottom in margins in order to clear through inventory." It gets much worse, however, because courtesy of the delayed nature of the bullwhip effect, Morgan Stanley thinks it will be some time before retailers can cut back on forward inventory orders! Companies are no longer in a position to order 6 months in advance because of delays in the supply chain, and are currently working with about an 8 month lead time. Shockingly, this means decisions today to cut forward orders could begin to eliminate the inventory problem in 1Q23, but not likely before then. As a result, Wilson concludes, "we are likely to see a tidal wave of discounts that carry us through December because 2022 inventory orders have already been placed." It's not just Wall Street finally catching up, however: overnight the WSJ also writes that "Big discounts are coming." Echoing everything we have written in the past two months, the Journal writes that Target, Walmart and Macy’s announced recently that they are starting to receive large shipments of outdoor furniture, loungewear and electronics (and if Morgan Stanley is correct and lead times are indeed 8 months they will keep receiving these into 2023!) everyone wanted, but couldn’t find, during the pandemic. The problem for retailers is a windfall for those in the market for sweatpants or couches. Look for prices to start dropping around July 4, analysts say when the deflationary retail tsunami is unleashed in full force. “There are going to be discounts like you’ve never seen before,” says Mickey Chadha, a Moody’s Investors Service analyst who tracks the retail industry. Retailer discounts are part of an effort to get shoppers interested in buying things again as Americans shift their spending to services such as concerts, eating out, and travel they missed out on during the pandemic. Deep discounts are expected on oversize couches, appliances and patio furniture that are more expensive for companies to store in their warehouses, analysts say. In fact, in everything this has some component of consumer goods demand to it. Look to e-retailers that specialize in larger goods like furniture to lower their prices, says Chirag Modi, who oversees supply chain execution and warehousing at consulting firm Blue Yonder. And if your drawers aren’t already bursting with work-from-home loungewear, stores will try hard to get you to take it off their shelves. “It might be a good time to buy sweatpants. They’re certainly going to be on sale this summer,” says Dan Wallace-Brewster, who directs marketing at e-commerce software company Scalefast. Office wear might not be discounted, he says. Some retailers, like Target, have already announced they’re planning big discounts. Others with robust warehouse capacity, like Walmart, may be more likely to hold on to their excess inventory, analysts say. Chadha said that retailers who sell their own lines of clothing and décor, like Gap, could be especially inclined to mark down their inventory, because they can’t pass the cost onto anyone else. Companies that carry other brands, like Macy’s, can potentially pass some of the surplus back to the producers. Consumer electronics are another category ripe for overstock discounts, Mr. Wallace-Brewster says, because the chip shortage is showing signs of abating. Items such as TVs and laptops are about to see major price cuts. Gwen Baer says she now wishes she had waited before splurging on a $3,000 couch for her new home that took six months to arrive in 2020. The 30-year-old Atlanta digital-media strategist plans to watch for sales at Target, West Elm and other retailers to finish outfitting her house, which she and her fiancé purchased in August 2020.      Her fiancé, Thomas Li, hopes to buy a new TV to replace the 10-year-old one in their bedroom. He’s hoping the sales mean lower prices on OLED screens. “The stores are really making lemonade out of some lemons,” Ms. Baer says. If you miss the wave of sales coming in a few weeks fear not: sales will likely continue well into back-to-school season and beyond. Modi says he is waiting until Thanksgiving to buy furniture for his own home renovation, and regrets already preordering kitchen cabinets. “I’m hedging my bets I’ll be able to get better deals in the fall,” Modi says adding that inventory surpluses are unlikely to affect the price of home staples and food. Discount retailers like TJ Maxx and Ross that specialize in surplus goods may not have great sales. Bigger metro areas may be poised for higher discounts than their rural counterparts, according to Modi, since they ordered based on demand at the height of the pandemic—which was higher in areas that are more population-dense. Not everything is set for a deflationary crash: don't expect luxury items to see price cuts. If anything, luxury prices for things like handbags and shoes are poised to keep climbing, said Oliver Chen, a retail analyst for Cowen: “Demand is so strong, and it’s a supply-constrained industry, generally, so quite the opposite rebalancing is happening." And while inflation is likely to persist in the ultra high, the implication for broader inflation is clear: most prices that make up the core CPI basket are about to fall off a cliff in weeks if not days, with upcoming core CPI prints set to plunge, which means that the only thing that will remain red hot is headline inflation, i.e., food and energy prices, the same prices which the Fed has traditionally ignored. It remains to be seen if it will do so this time around, or if - realizing that the US is entering a recession - it will resume easing even in the face of $5 gas prices... Tyler Durden Fri, 06/17/2022 - 12:00.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeJun 17th, 2022

Here are 3 reasons it isn"t time to buy the dip in stocks yet and what needs to happen for the market to turn positive, according to BlackRock

"We're not pounding the table on buying stocks right now because of a growing risk that the Fed tightens too much — or that markets believe it will." Stocks fell into bear-market territory on Monday.Bryan R Smith/Reuters Investors shouldn't be too eager to buy the recent decline in stocks, BlackRock said on Monday. The S&P fell nearly 4% Monday and entered bear-market territory for the first time since March 2020. Here are three reasons BlackRock isn't buying the dip and what it would need to see to turn positive. With stocks falling into bear-market territory on Monday, investors shouldn't rush in to buy the dip, BlackRock said in a Monday note.So far this year, investors have grappled with rising inflation, higher interest rates, and mounting concerns of a recession, sparking 21% and 30% year-to-date declines in the S&P 500 and Nasdaq 100, respectively. While some may see the damage and assume markets have priced in the risks, there are growing uncertainties related to the Fed's interest-rate plans, and that could represent a roadblock for stocks to quickly recover from their recent losses, according to BlackRock.Below are the three reasons BlackRock isn't buying the decline in stocks yet and what it would need to see to turn positive.1. "Margin pressures are a risk to earnings.""Profit margins have marched upward for two decades. We now see increasing risks to the downside. We expect the energy crunch to hit growth and higher labor costs to eat into profits. The problem is consensus earnings estimates don't appear to reflect this," BlackRock said.BlackRock's right, as Wall Street's 2022 earnings estimate for the S&P 500 still expects growth of 10.5%."That's way too optimistic," BlackRock said. "Stocks could slide further if margin pressures increase. Falling costs like labor have led the multi-decade profit expansion. So far, unit labor costs haven't risen much. We see inflation-adjusted wage hikes to entice people back to work. That's good for the economy, but bad for company margins."S&P 500 operating margin.BlackRock2. "The Fed will lift rates too high." "We're not pounding the table on buying stocks right now because of a growing risk that the Fed tightens too much — or that markets believe it will, at least in the near term. Signs of persistent inflation, like last week's CPI report, may fuel the latter risk," BlackRock said.3. "Valuations aren't much cheaper given rising interest rates." "Equities haven't cheapened that much, in our view. Why? Valuations haven't really improved after accounting for a lower earnings outlook and a faster expected pace of rate rises. The prospect of even higher rates is increasing the expected discount rate. Higher discount rates make future cash flows less attractive," BlackRock said.The positive signal to look for  To turn more positive on the stock market and start buying, the $10 trillion asset manager said it was monitoring when the Fed "explicitly acknowledges the high costs to growth and jobs if it raises rates too high."Once the Fed does that, it would signal to BlackRock to turn positive on stocks from a tactical perspective, as it would signal that the central bank was done, or almost done, raising interest rates. It could even be the turning point as to when interest-rate cuts reenter the conversation. "We think the Fed will quickly raise rates and then hold off to see the impact," BlackRock said, adding: "We think central banks will eventually make a dovish pivot to save growth or avoid a deep recession. This is why we are overweight equities in the long run but neutral on a tactical horizon," BlackRock said.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderJun 13th, 2022

Here are 3 reasons why it isn"t time to buy the dip in stocks yet and what needs to happen for the market to turn positive, according to BlackRock

"We're not pounding the table on buying stocks right now because of a growing risk that the Fed tightens too much - or that markets believe it will." Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, U.S., March 9, 2020.Bryan R Smith/ReutersInvestors shouldn't be too eager to buy the recent decline in stocks, BlackRock said on Monday.The S&P 500 fell nearly 4% on Monday and entered bear market territory for the first time since March 2020.Here are three reasons why BlackRock isn't buying the dip yet, and what it would need to see to turn positive. With stocks falling into bear market territory on Monday, investors shouldn't rush in to buy the dip, BlackRock said in a Monday note.So far this year, investors have grappled with rising inflation, higher interest rates, and mounting concerns of a recession, sparking a 21% and 30% year-to-date decline in the S&P 500 and Nasdaq 100, respectively. And while some may see the damage and assume markets have priced in the risks, there are still growing uncertainties related to the Fed's interest rate plans, and that could represent a roadblock for stocks to quickly recover from their recent losses, according to BlackRock.These are the three reasons why BlackRock isn't buying the decline in stocks yet, and what it would need to see to turn positive.1. "Margin pressures are a risk to earnings.""Profit margins have marched upward for two decades. We now see increasing risks to the downside. We expect the energy crunch to hit growth and higher labor costs to eat into profits. The problem is consensus earnings estimates don't appear to reflect this," BlackRock said.BlackRock's right, as Wall Street's 2022 earnings estimate for the S&P 500 still expects growth of 10.5%. "That's way too optimistic," BlackRock said. "Stocks could slide further if margin pressures increase. Falling costs like labor have led the multi-decade profit expansion. So far, unit labor costs haven't risen much. We see inflation-adjusted wage hikes to entice people back to work. That's good for the economy, but bad for company margins," BlackRock said.S&P 500 Operating MarginBlackRock2. "The Fed will lift rates too high." "We're not pounding the table on buying stocks right now because of a growing risk that the Fed tightens too much - or that markets believe it will, at least in the near term. Signs of persistent inflation, like last week's CPI report, may fuel the latter risk," BlackRock said.3. "Valuations aren't much cheaper given rising interest rates." "Equities haven't cheapened that much, in our view. Why? Valuations haven't really improved after accounting for a lower earnings outlook and a faster expected pace of rate rises. The prospect of even higher rates is increasing the expected discount rate. Higher discount rates make future cash flows less attractive," BlackRock said.The positive signal to look for  To turn more positive on the stock market and start buying, BlackRock is monitoring when the Fed "explicitly acknowledges the high costs to growth and jobs if it raises rates too high," the $10 trillion asset manager said.Once the Fed does that, it would signal to BlackRock to turn positive on stocks from a tactical perspective, as it would likely signal that the central bank is done, or almost done raising interest rates. It could even be the turning point as to when interest rate cuts re-enter the conversation. "We think the Fed will quickly raise rates and then hold off to see the impact... We think central banks will eventually make a dovish pivot to save growth or avoid a deep recession. This is why we are overweight equities in the long run but neutral on a tactical horizon," BlackRock said.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: personnelSource: nytJun 13th, 2022

FTSE 350 Look Ahead: Ashtead, Whitbread, Boohoo And More

Look ahead to FTSE 350, other companies reporting & economic events from 13 – 17 June 2022 We’ll see whether Ashtead Group plc (LON:AHT)’s had the bumper year they expected. Whitbread plc (LON:WTB) looks to capitalise on returning hotel demand. A close watch on whether supply chain issues continue to affect Boohoo Group PLC (LON:BOO)’s […] Look ahead to FTSE 350, other companies reporting & economic events from 13 – 17 June 2022 We’ll see whether Ashtead Group plc (LON:AHT)’s had the bumper year they expected. Whitbread plc (LON:WTB) looks to capitalise on returning hotel demand. A close watch on whether supply chain issues continue to affect Boohoo Group PLC (LON:BOO)’s performance. Tesco PLC (LON:TSCO) should shed some light on how consumer spending’s holding up. With bike sales down, investors look to Halfords Group plc (LON:HFD)’s motoring sales to peddle more quickly. if (typeof jQuery == 'undefined') { document.write(''); } .first{clear:both;margin-left:0}.one-third{width:31.034482758621%;float:left;margin-left:3.448275862069%}.two-thirds{width:65.51724137931%;float:left}form.ebook-styles .af-element input{border:0;border-radius:0;padding:8px}form.ebook-styles .af-element{width:220px;float:left}form.ebook-styles .af-element.buttonContainer{width:115px;float:left;margin-left: 6px;}form.ebook-styles .af-element.buttonContainer input.submit{width:115px;padding:10px 6px 8px;text-transform:uppercase;border-radius:0;border:0;font-size:15px}form.ebook-styles .af-body.af-standards input.submit{width:115px}form.ebook-styles .af-element.privacyPolicy{width:100%;font-size:12px;margin:10px auto 0}form.ebook-styles .af-element.privacyPolicy p{font-size:11px;margin-bottom:0}form.ebook-styles .af-body input.text{height:40px;padding:2px 10px !important} form.ebook-styles .error, form.ebook-styles #error { color:#d00; } form.ebook-styles .formfields h1, form.ebook-styles .formfields #mg-logo, form.ebook-styles .formfields #mg-footer { display: none; } form.ebook-styles .formfields { font-size: 12px; } form.ebook-styles .formfields p { margin: 4px 0; } Get The Full Henry Singleton Series in PDF Get the entire 4-part series on Henry Singleton in PDF. Save it to your desktop, read it on your tablet, or email to your colleagues (function($) {window.fnames = new Array(); window.ftypes = new Array();fnames[0]='EMAIL';ftypes[0]='email';}(jQuery));var $mcj = jQuery.noConflict(true); Q1 2022 hedge fund letters, conferences and more Ashtead, Q4 Results, Tuesday 14 June Laura Hoy, Equity Analyst “When we last heard from Ashtead, management had increased guidance to reflect what’s been a bumper year. Revenue growth‘s expected to be upwards of 20% as the group’s benefitted from a post pandemic surge in construction. More importantly in our view will be cash flow. The group guided for free cash flow of around $1.0bn, which would be a testament to the group’s efforts to improve margins with improved efficiency.  Moving into the new financial year, we’d expect some of that efficiency to fall away as higher activity levels mean the group has to spend more on new equipment—so we’ll have an eye on management’s forward looking statements for an idea of just how much is on the table. Capital expenditure has been ticking upward, a necessary lever to drive growth, but there’ll be a balance to strike. The other story to watch is demand expectations for the upcoming year. Rising inflation has benefitted the group up to this point, but with a potential recession on the cards, we could see construction spend start to taper. We’d like management’s take on how the current environment is affecting forecasts to know whether persistent inflation is still a tailwind.” Whitbread, Q1 Trading Statement, Wednesday 15 June Matt Britzman, Equity Analyst “Premier Inn owner, Whitbread, saw its recovery push on back in April when profits returned, and the outlook started to look brighter. In the UK we’ll be hoping trends seen in the second half of the prior year continue, where total sales exceeded pre-pandemic levels. Occupancy in the first portion of Q1 was seen at 81%, which would be a positive step following a tough period last Christmas when Omicron hit. We’ll be hoping that number remains flat or higher. Inflation and supply chain disruption are industry wide challenges and we’ll be keeping a close eye out for commentary on their impact. Cost inflation’s expected at around 8-9%, which puts pressure on the group to deliver more of the £140m in cost saving planned by FY25. With £40m saved last year, we’ll be hoping to hear another chunk is coming sooner rather than later.” Boohoo, Trading Statement, Wednesday 15 June Susannah Streeter, Senior Investment and Markets Analyst ‘’Boohoo’s challenges have come thick and fast with supply chain issues really weighing on its performance, so investors will be keeping a close watch in this update on whether there is an end in sight to the higher shipping costs and longer delivery times, which have hit profits. The overall rebound in retail clothing sales as people prepare for parties, weddings and holidays clearly shows there is appetite for Boohoo’s fashion savvy products, but it is meeting that demand which has become increasingly difficult. Investors will be keen for an update on whether these supply chain issues easing, because if the company doesn’t get ship shape quickly there is a risk impatient customers will migrate to rival brands. Returns rates will also be a metric to watch as the number of customers sending back unsuitable garments has begun to creep up again, after previously dipping, as easy fit loungewear saw shoppers hang onto more purchases during the pandemic. The group is targeting revenue growth in the low-single digits and an underlying cash profit margin between 4-7%, investors will want to see that this is still on track, and any undershooting could see the share price punished again.’’ Tesco, Q1 Trading Statement, Friday 17 June Matt Britzman, Equity Analyst “Next week’s trading statement should shed some light on whether the cost-of-living crisis is impacting consumer spending. Shopper confidence fell sharply through the start of April and the energy price cap hike suggests wallets have felt the pinch since then. Commentary on the outlook from management will be a key indicator to how this is playing out. Tesco’s commitment to focusing on pricing should hold it in good stead if consumers shift down the value chain but that comes at a cost. Inflation was called out as a challenge in the full-year results just gone, albeit one that was being mitigated with improved efficiencies. We’ll be looking out for any commentary on whether the group can keep prices low, mitigate inflation and keep margins intact.” Halfords, Full Year Results, Friday 17 June Susannah Streeter, Senior Investment and Markets Analyst ‘’With bikes sales already showing signs of shifting down a few gears, investors will want to see signs of motoring sales at Halfords continue to peddle more quickly. The pandemic cycling boom appears to be fading fast, as people have had less time for the great outdoors. This trend is likely to continue as people appear to have been ring-fencing budgets to spend time on longed for foreign shores rather than domestic hills. Autocentres did get a seasonal boost with MOT numbers particularly brisk at the last count, due to a shift in timings due to a deferral programme in 2021 so on the face of it motoring sales may disappoint. But fundamentally they do appear to be heading in the right direction, particularly in The Mobile Servicing business, where technicians come straight to your door, which continues to look promising. Investors will want to see the upward march in like for like sales continuing here as it’s  an area for future growth, and when combined with Autocentres offers good potential for cross selling.’’ 13-Jun Draper Esprit Full Year Results Sirius Real Estate Full Year Results 14-Jun Ashtead Group* Q4 Results Bellway Trading Statement Crest Nicholson Holdings Half Year Results discoverIE Group Q4 Results FirstGroup Full Year Results Oxford Instruments Full Year Results Paragon Banking Group Half Year Results 15-Jun Whitbread* Q1 Trading Statement JPMorgan European Smaller Companies Trust Full Year Results WH Smith Q3 Trading Statement 16-Jun Biffa Full Year Results Boohoo* Trading Statement Halma Full Year Results Informa Q2 Trading Statement Syncona Full Year Results 17-Jun Halfords* Full Year Results Tesco* Q1 Trading Statement *Events on which we will be updating investors About Hargreaves Lansdown Over 1.7 million clients trust us with £132.3 billion (as at 30 April 2022), making us the UK’s number one platform for private investors. More than 98% of client activity is done through our digital channels and over 600,000 access our mobile app each month. Updated on Jun 9, 2022, 1:22 pm (function() { var sc = document.createElement("script"); sc.type = "text/javascript"; sc.async = true;sc.src = "//mixi.media/data/js/95481.js"; sc.charset = "utf-8";var s = document.getElementsByTagName("script")[0]; s.parentNode.insertBefore(sc, s); }()); window._F20 = window._F20 || []; _F20.push({container: 'F20WidgetContainer', placement: '', count: 3}); _F20.push({finish: true});.....»»

Category: blogSource: valuewalkJun 9th, 2022

Five Below (FIVE) Lined Up for Q1 Earnings: Factors to Note

Five Below's (FIVE) first-quarter top-line result is likely to reflect a favorable pricing strategy, enhanced merchandise assortment and improved digital capabilities. Five Below, Inc. FIVE is likely to register an increase in the top line when it reports first-quarter fiscal 2022 results on Jun 8, after the closing bell. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for revenues is pegged at $653.4 million, suggesting an improvement of 9.3% from the prior-year reported figure.Meanwhile, the Zacks Consensus Estimate for first-quarter earnings per share has decreased by a penny to 58 cents over the past seven days. The figure indicates a decline of 34.1% from the prior-year quarter.This extreme-value retailer for tweens, teens and beyond has a trailing four-quarter earnings surprise of 21.4%, on average. In the last reported quarter, the company’s bottom line surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate by a margin of 0.4%.Factors to NoteFive Below’s first-quarter performance is likely to have benefited from its focus on providing trend-right products, strengthening digital capabilities and growing its brick-and-mortar footprint. We believe increased penetration of Five Beyond and e-commerce business, new customer acquisition, sales lifts from remodels and conversions, and selective merchandise price increases might have contributed to the top line.On its last earnings call, management guided first-quarter net sales in the range of $644 million to $658 million, up from $597.8 million reported in the year-ago period. However, Five Below did caution about tough year-over-year comparison due to lapping record government stimulus year ago and the uncertainty surrounding soaring inflation. As a result, the company had projected first-quarter comparable sales to be flat to down 2%.The company is navigating through a tight supply chain environment across the retail landscape, resulting in higher inbound freight costs. These are likely to have put pressure on margins and, in turn, the bottom line. Five Below had guided 400 basis points of contraction in operating margin for the first quarter. It had projected earnings between 54 cents and 62 a share for the quarter under discussion, which is down from 88 cents reported in the year-ago period.Five Below, Inc. Price, Consensus and EPS Surprise Five Below, Inc. price-consensus-eps-surprise-chart | Five Below, Inc. QuoteWhat the Zacks Model UnveilsOur proven model does not conclusively predict an earnings beat for Five Below this time around. The combination of a positive Earnings ESP and a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), 2 (Buy) or 3 (Hold) increases the odds of an earnings beat. But that’s not the case here. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.Five Below has an Earnings ESP of -5.82% and a Zacks Rank #3. You can uncover the best stocks to buy or sell before they’re reported with our Earnings ESP Filter.Stocks With Favorable CombinationHere are three companies you may want to consider as our model shows that these have the right combination of elements to post an earnings beat:Kroger KR currently has an Earnings ESP of +1.65% and a Zacks Rank #2. The company is expected to register bottom-line growth when it reports first-quarter fiscal 2022 results. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for quarterly earnings per share of $1.27 suggests growth of 6.7% from the year-ago quarter’s reported figure.Kroger’s top line is anticipated to rise year over year. The consensus mark for revenues is pegged at $43.57 billion, indicating an increase of 5.5% from the year-ago quarter. KR has a trailing four-quarter earnings surprise of 22.1%, on average.Fastenal Company FAST currently has an Earnings ESP of +2.82% and a Zacks Rank #2. The company is likely to register an increase in the bottom line when it reports second-quarter fiscal 2022 numbers. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for quarterly earnings per share of 50 cents suggests an increase of 19.1% from the year-ago reported number.Fastenal Company’s top line is expected to increase year over year. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for quarterly revenues is pegged at $1.78 billion, which indicates an improvement of 18.3% from the prior-year quarter. FAST has a trailing four-quarter earnings surprise of 5%, on average.Chipotle Mexican Grill CMG currently has an Earnings ESP of +2.26% and a Zacks Rank #3. The company is likely to register an increase in the bottom line when it reports second-quarter 2022 numbers. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for quarterly earnings per share of $9.06 suggests an increase of 21.5% from the year-ago reported number.Chipotle Mexican Grill’s top line is expected to increase year over year. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for quarterly revenues is pegged at $2.24 billion, which indicates growth of 18.6% from the prior-year quarter. CMG has a trailing four-quarter earnings surprise of 9.3%, on average.Stay on top of upcoming earnings announcements with the Zacks Earnings Calendar Free: Top Stocks for the $30 Trillion Metaverse Boom The metaverse is a quantum leap for the internet as we currently know it - and it will make some investors rich. Just like the internet, the metaverse is expected to transform how we live, work and play. Zacks has put together a new special report to help readers like you target big profits. The Metaverse - What is it? And How to Profit with These 5 Pioneering Stocks reveals specific stocks set to skyrocket as this emerging technology develops and expands.Download Zacks’ Metaverse Report now >>Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report Fastenal Company (FAST): Free Stock Analysis Report Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc. (CMG): Free Stock Analysis Report The Kroger Co. (KR): Free Stock Analysis Report Five Below, Inc. (FIVE): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here. Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacksJun 6th, 2022

Recession, Prices, & The Final Crack-Up Boom

Recession, Prices, & The Final Crack-Up Boom Authored by Alasdair Macleod via GoldMoney.com, Initiated by monetarists, the debate between an outlook for inflation versus recession intensifies. We appear to be moving on from the stagflation story into outright fears of the consequences of monetary tightening and of interest rate overkill. In common with statisticians in other jurisdictions, Britain’s Office for Budget Responsibility is still effectively saying that inflation of prices is transient, though the prospect of a return towards the 2% target has been deferred until 2024. Chancellor Sunak blithely accepts these figures to justify a one-off hit on oil producers, when, surely, with his financial expertise he must know the situation is likely to be very different from the OBR’s forecasts. This article clarifies why an entirely different outcome is virtually certain. To explain why, the reasonings of monetarists and neo-Keynesians are discussed and the errors in their understanding of the causes of inflation is exposed. Finally, we can see in plainer sight the evolving risk leading towards a systemic fiat currency crisis encompassing banks, central banks, and fiat currencies themselves. It involves understanding that inflation is not rising prices but a diminishing purchasing power for currency and bank deposits, and that the changes in the quantity of currency and credit discussed by monetarists are not the most important issue. In a world awash with currency and bank deposits the real concern is the increasing desire of economic actors to reduce these balances in favour of an increase in their ownership of physical assets and goods. As the crisis unfolds, we can expect increasing numbers of the public to attempt to reduce their cash and bank deposits with catastrophic consequences for their currencies’ purchasing power. That being so, we appear to be on a fast track towards a final crack-up boom whereby the public attempts to reduce their holdings of currency and bank deposits, evidenced by selected non-financial asset and basic consumer items prices beginning to rise rapidly. Introduction In the mainstream investment media, the narrative for the economic outlook is evolving. From inflation, by which is commonly meant rising prices, the MSIM say we now face the prospect of recession. While dramatic, current inflation rates are seen to be a temporary phenomenon driven by factors such as Russian sanctions, Chinese covid lockdowns, component shortages and staffing problems. Therefore, it is said, inflation remains transient — it’s just that it will take a little longer than originally thought by Jay Powell to return to the 2% target. We were reminded of this in Britain last week when Chancellor Sunak delivered his “temporary targeted energy profits levy”, which by any other name was an emergency budget. Note the word “temporary”. This was justified by the figures from the supposedly independent Office for Budget Responsibility. The OBR still forecasts a return to 2% price inflation but deferred until early 2024 after a temporary peak of 9%. Therefore, the OBR deems it is still transient. Incidentally, the OBR’s forecasting record has been deemed by independent observers as “really terrible”. Absolved himself of any responsibility for the OBR’s inflation estimates, Sunak is spending £15bn on subsidies for households’ fuel costs, claiming to recover it from oil producers on the argument that they are enjoying an unexpected windfall, courtesy of Vladimir Putin, to be used to finance a one-off temporary situation. That being the case, don’t hold your breath waiting for Shell and BP to submit a bill to Sunak for having to write off their extensive Russian investments and distribution businesses because of UK government sanctions against Russia. But we digress from our topic, which is about the future course of prices, more specifically the unmeasurable general price level in the context of economic prospects. And what if the OBR’s figures, which are like those of all other statist statisticians in other jurisdictions, turn out to be hideously wrong? There is no doubt that they and the MSIM are clutching at a straw labelled “hope”. Hope that a recession will lead to lower consumer demand taking the heat out of higher prices. Hope that Putin’s war will end rapidly in his defeat. Hope that Western sanctions will collapse the Russian economy. Hope that supply chains will be rapidly restored to normal. But even if all these expectations turn out to be true, old-school economic analysis unbiased by statist interests suggests that interest rates will still have to go significantly higher, bankrupting businesses, governments, and even central banks overloaded with their QE-derived portfolios. The establishment, the mainstream media and government agencies are deluding themselves over prospects for prices. Modern macroeconomics in the form of both monetarism and Keynesianism is not equipped to understand the economic relationships that determine the future purchasing power of fiat currencies. Taking our cue from the stagflationary seventies, when Keynesianism was discredited, and Milton Friedman of the Chicago monetary school came to prominence, we must critically examine both creeds. In this article we look at what the monetarists are saying, then the neo-Keynesian mainstream approach, and finally the true position and the outcome it is likely to lead to. Since monetarists are now warning that a slowdown in credit creation is tilting dangers away from inflation towards recession, we shall consider the errors in the monetarist approach first. Monetary theory has not yet adapted itself for pure fiat Monetarist economists are now telling us that the growth of money supply is slowing, pointing to a recession. But that is only true if all the hoped-for changes in prices comes from the side of goods and services and not that of the currency. No modern monetarist appears to take that into account in his or her analysis of price prospects, bundling up this crucial issue in velocity of circulation. This is why they often preface their analysis by assuming there is no change in velocity of circulation. While they have turned their backs on sound money, which can only be metallic gold or silver and their credible substitutes, their analysis of the relationship between currency and prices has not been adequately revised to account for changes in the purchasing power of pure fiat currencies. It is vitally important to understand why it matters. A proper gold coin exchange standard turns a currency into a gold substitute, which the public is almost always content to hold through cycles of bank credit. While there are always factors that alter the purchasing power of gold and its relationship with its credible substitutes, the purchasing power of a properly backed currency and associated media in the form of notes and bank deposits varies relatively little compared with our experience today, particularly if free markets permit arbitrage between different currencies acting as alternative gold substitutes. This is demonstrated in Figure 1 below of the oil price measured firstly in gold-grammes and currencies under the Bretton Woods agreement until 1971, and then gold-grammes and pure fiat currencies subsequently. The price stability, while economic actors accepted that the dollar was tied to gold and therefore a credible substitute along with the currencies fixed against it, was evident before the Bretton Woods agreement was suspended. Yet the quantity of currency and deposits in dollars and sterling expanded significantly during this period, more so for sterling which suffered a devaluation against the dollar in 1967. The figures for the euro before its creation in 2000 are for the Deutsche mark, which by following sounder money policies while it existed explains why the oil price in euros is recorded as not having risen as much as in sterling and the dollar. The message from oil’s price history is that volatility is in fiat currencies and not oil. In gold-grammes there has been remarkably little price variation. Therefore, the pricing relationship between a sound currency backed by gold differs substantially from the fiat world we live with today, and there has been very little change in monetarist theory to reflect this fact beyond mere technicalities. The lesson learned is that under a gold standard, an expansion of the currency and bank deposits is tolerated to a greater extent than under a pure fiat regime. But an expansion of the media of exchange can only be tolerated within limits, which is why first the London gold pool failed in the late 1960s and then the Bretton Woods system was abandoned in 1971. Under a gold standard, an expansion of the quantity of bank credit will be reflected in a currency’s purchasing power as the new media is absorbed into general circulation. But if note-issuing banks stand by their promise to offer coin conversion to allcomers that will be the extent of it and economic actors know it. This is the basis behind classical monetarism, which relates with Cantillon’s insight about how new money enters circulation, driving up prices in its wake. From John Stuart Mill to Irving Fisher, it has been mathematically expressed and refined into the equation of exchange. In his earlier writings, even Keynes understood monetarist theory, giving an adequate description of it in his Tract on Monetary Reform, written in 1923 when Germany’s papiermark was collapsing. But even under the gold standard, the monetarist school failed to incorporate the reality of the human factor in their equation of exchange, which has since become a glaring omission with respect to fiat currency regimes. Buyers and sellers of goods and services do not concern themselves with the general price level and velocity of circulation; they are only concerned with their immediate and foreseeable needs. And they are certainly unaware of changes in the quantity of currency and credit and the total value of past transactions in the economy. Consumers and businesses pay no attention to these elements of the fundamental monetarist equation. In essence, this is the disconnection between monetarism and catallactic reality. Instead, the equation of exchange is made to always balance by the spurious concept of velocity of circulation, a mental image of money engendering its own utility rather than being simply a medium of exchange between buyers and sellers of goods and services. And mathematicians who otherwise insist on the discipline of balance in their equations are seemingly prepared in the field of monetary analysis to introduce a variable whose function is only to ensure the equation always balances when without it, it does not. Besides monetarism failing to account for the human actions of consumers and businesses, over time there have been substantial shifts in how money is used for purposes not included in consumer transactions — the bedrock of consumer price indices and of gross domestic product. The financialisation of the US and other major economies together with the manufacture of consumer and intermediate goods being delegated to emerging economies have radically changed the profiles of the US and the other G7 economies. To assume, as the monetarists do, that the growth of money supply can be applied pro rata to consumer activity is a further error because much of the money supply does not relate to prices of goods and services. Furthermore, when cash and bank deposits are retained by consumers and businesses, for them they represent the true function of money, which is to act as liquidity for future purchases. They are not concerned with past transactions. Therefore, the ratio of cash and instant liquidity to anticipated consumption is what really matters in determining purchasing power and cannot be captured in the equation of exchange. Monetarists have stuck with an equation of exchange whose faults did not matter materially under proper gold standards. Besides ignoring the human element in the marketplace, their error is now to persist with the equation of exchange in a radically different fiat environment. The role of cash and credit reserves In their ignorance of the importance of the ratio between cash and credit relative to prospective purchases of goods and services, all macroeconomists commit a major blunder. It allows them to argue inaccurately that an economic slowdown triggered by a reduction in the growth of currency and credit will automatically lead to a fall in the rate of increase in the general price level. Having warned central banks earlier of the inflation problem with a degree of success, this is what now lies behind monetarists’ forecasts of a sharp slowdown in the rate of price increases. A more realistic approach is to try to understand the factors likely to affect the preferences of individuals within a market society. For individuals to be entirely static in their preferences is obviously untrue and they will respond as a cohort to the changing economic environment. It is individuals who set the purchasing power of money in the context of their need for a medium of exchange — no one else does. As Ludwig von Mises put it in his Critique of Interventionism: “Because everybody wishes to have a certain amount of cash, sometimes more sometimes less, there is a demand for money. Money is never simply in the economic system, in the national economy, it is never simply circulating. All the money available is always in the cash holdings of somebody. Every piece of money may one day — sometimes oftener, sometimes more seldom — pass from one man’s cash holding to another man’s ownership. At every moment it is owned by somebody and is a part of his cash holdings. The decisions of individuals regarding the magnitude of their cash holdings constitute the ultimate factor in the formation of purchasing power.” For clarification, we should add to this quotation from Mises that cash and deposits include those held by businesses and investors, an important factor in this age of financialisation. Aside from fluctuations in bank credit, units of currency are never destroyed. It is the marginal demand for cash that sets it value, its purchasing power. It therefore follows that a relatively minor shift in the average desire to hold cash and bank deposits will have a disproportionate effect on the currency’s purchasing power. Central bankers’ instincts work to maintain levels of bank credit, replacing it with central bank currency when necessary. Any sign of a contraction of bank credit, which would tend to support the currency’s purchasing power, is met with an interest rate reduction and/or increases in the note issue and in addition today increases of bank deposits on the central bank’s balance sheet through QE. The expansion of global central bank balance sheets in this way has been mostly continuous following the Lehman crisis in 2008 until March, since when they began to contract slightly in aggregate — hence the monetarists’ warnings of an impending slowdown in the rate of price inflation. But the slowdown in money supply growth is small beer compared with the total problem. The quantity of dollar notes and bank deposits has tripled since the Lehman crisis and GDP has risen by only two-thirds. GDP does not account for all economic transactions — trading in financial assets is excluded from GDP along with that of most used goods. Even allowing for these factors, the quantity of currency liquidity for economic actors must have increased to unaccustomed levels. This is further confirmed by the Fed’s reverse repo balances, which absorb excess liquidity of currency and credit currently standing at about $2 trillion, which is 9% of M2 broad money supply. In all Western jurisdictions, consuming populations are collectively seeing their cash and bank deposits buy less today than in the past. Furthermore, with prices rising at the fastest rate seen in decades, they see little or no interest compensation for retaining balances of currencies losing purchasing power. In these circumstances and given the immediate outlook for prices they are more likely to seek to decrease their cash and credit balances in favour of acquiring goods and services, even when they are not for immediate use. The conventional solution to this problem is the one deployed by Paul Volcker in 1980, which is to raise interest rates sufficiently to counter the desire of economic actors to reduce their spending liquidity. The snag is that an increase in the Fed funds rate today sufficient to restore faith in holding bank deposits would have to be to a level which would generate widespread bankruptcies, undermine government finances, and even threaten the solvency of central banks, thereby bringing forward an economic and banking crisis as a deliberate act of policy. The egregious errors of the neo-Keynesian cohort Unlike the monetarists, most neo-Keynesians have discarded entirely the link between the quantity of currency and credit and their purchasing power. Even today, it is neo-Keynesians who dominate monetary and economic policy-making, though perhaps monetarism will experience a policy revival. But for now, with respect to inflation money is rarely mentioned in central bank monetary committee reports. The errors in what has evolved from macroeconomic pseudo-science into beliefs based on a quicksand of assumptions are now so numerous that any hope that those in control know what they are doing must be rejected. The initial error was Keynes’s dismissal of Say’s law in his General Theory by literary legerdemain to invent macroeconomics, which somehow hovers over economic reality without being governed by the same factors. From it springs the belief that the state knows best with respect to economic affairs and that all the faults lie with markets. Every time belief in the state’s supremacy is threatened, the Keynesians have sought to supress the evidence offered by markets. Failure at a national level has been dealt with by extending policies internationally so that all the major central banks now work together in group-thinking unison to control markets. We have global monetary coordination at the Bank for International Settlements. And at the World Economic Forum which is trying to muscle in on the act we now see neo-Marxism emerge with the desire for all property and personal behaviour to be ceded to the state. As they say, “own nothing and you will be happy”. The consequence is that when neo-Keynesianism finally fails it will be a global crisis and there will be no escape from the consequences in one’s own jurisdiction. The current ideological position is that prices are formed by the interaction of supply and demand and little else. They make the same error as the monetarists in assuming that in any transaction the currency is constant and all the change in prices comes from the goods side: money is wholly objective, and all the price subjectivity is entirely in the goods. This was indeed true when money was sound and is still assumed to be the case for fiat currencies by all individuals at the point of transaction. But it ignores the question over a currency’s future purchasing power, which is what the science of economics should be about. The error leads to a black-and-white assumption that an economy is either growing or it is in recession — the definitions of which, like almost all things Keynesian, are somewhat fluid and indistinct. Adherents are guided religiously by imperfect statistics which cannot capture human action and whose construction is evolved to support the monetary and economic policies of the day. It is a case of Humpty Dumpty saying, “It means what I chose it to mean —neither more nor less” Lewis Caroll fans will know that Alice responded, “The question is whether you can make words mean so many different things”. To which Humpty replied,” The question is which is to be master —that’s all.” So long as the neo-Keynesians are Masters of Policy their imprecisions of definition will guarantee and magnify an eventual economic failure. The final policy crisis is approaching Whether a macroeconomist is a monetarist or neo-Keynesian, the reliance on statistics, mathematics, and belief in the supremacy of the state in economic and monetary affairs ill-equips them for dealing with an impending systemic and currency crisis. The monetarists argue that the slowdown in monetary growth means that the danger is now of a recession, not inflation. The neo-Keynesians believe that any threat to economic growth from the failures of free markets requires further stimulation. The measure everyone uses is growth in gross domestic product, which only reflects the quantity of currency and credit applied to transactions included in the statistic. It tells us nothing about why currency and credit is used. Monetary growth is not economic progress, which is what increases a nation’s wealth. Instead, self-serving statistics cover up the transfer of wealth from the producers in an economy to the unproductive state and its interests through excessive taxation and currency debasement, leaving the entire nation, including the state itself eventually, worse off. For this reason, attempts to increase economic growth merely worsen the situation, beyond the immediate apparent benefits. There will come a point when the public wakes up to the illusion of monetary debasement. Until recently, there has been little evidence of this awareness, which is why the monetarists have been broadly correct about the price effects of the rapid expansion of currency and credit in recent years. But as discussed above, the expansion of currency and bank deposits has been substantially greater than the increase in GDP, which despite its direction into financial speculation and other activities outside GDP has led to an accumulation of over $2 trillion of excess liquidity no one wants in US dollar reverse repos at the Fed. The growth in the level of personal liquidity and credit available explains why the increase in the general price level for goods and services has lagged the growth of currency and deposits, because at the margin since the Lehman crisis the public, including businesses and financial entities, has been accumulating additional liquidity instead of buying goods. This accelerated during covid lockdowns to be subsequently released in a wave of excess demand, fuelling a sharp rise in the general level of prices, not anticipated by the monetary authorities who immediately dismissed the rise as transient. The build-up of liquidity and its subsequent release into purchases of goods is reflected in the savings rate for the US shown in Figure 2 below. The personal saving rate does not isolate from the total the accumulating level of spending liquidity as opposed to that allocated for investment. The underlying level of personal liquidity will have accumulated over time as a part of total personal savings in line with the growth of currency and bank deposits since the Lehman crisis. The restrictions on spending behaviour during lockdowns in 2020 and 2021 exacerbated the situation, forcing a degree of liquidity reduction which drove the general level of prices significantly higher. Profits and losses resulting from dealing in financial assets and cryptocurrencies are not included in the personal savings rate statistics either. This matters to the extent that bank credit is used to leverage investment. Nor is the accumulation of cash in corporations and financial entities, which are a significant factor. But whatever the level of it, there can be little doubt that the levels of liquidity held by economic actors are unaccustomedly high. The accumulation of reverse repos representing unwanted liquidity informs us that the public, including businesses, are so sated with excess liquidity that they may already be trying to reduce it, particularly if they expect further increases in prices. In that event they will almost certainly bring forward future purchases to alter the relationship between personal liquidity and goods. It is a situation in America which is edging towards a crack-up boom. A crack-up boom occurs when the public as a cohort attempts to reduce the overall level of its currency and deposits in favour of goods towards a final point of rejecting the currency entirely. So far, economic history has recorded only one version, which is when after a period of accelerating debasement of a fiat currency the public finally wakes up to the certainty that a currency is becoming worthless and all hope that it might somehow survive as a medium of exchange must be abandoned. To this, perhaps we can add another: the consequences of a collapse of the world’s major monetary institutions in unison. How excess liquidity is likely to play out We have established beyond reasonable doubt that the US economy is awash with personal liquidity. And if one man disposes of his liquidity to another in a transaction the currency and bank deposit still exists. But aggregate personal liquidity can be reduced by the contraction of bank credit. As interest rates rise, thereby exposing malinvestments, the banks will be quick to protect themselves by withdrawing credit. As originally described by Irving Fisher, a contraction of bank credit risks triggering a self-feeding liquidation of loan collateral. Initially, we can expect central banks to counter this contraction by redoubling efforts to suppress bond yields, reinstitute more aggressive QE, and standing ready to bail out banks. These are all measures which are in the central banker’s instruction manual. But the conditions leading to a crack-up boom appear to be already developing despite the increasing likelihood of contracting bank credit. The deteriorating outlook for bank credit and the impact on highly leveraged banks, particularly in Japan and the Eurozone, is likely to accelerate the flight out of bank deposits to — where? Regulators have deliberately reduced access to currency cash so a bank depositor can only dispose of larger sums by transferring them to someone else. Before an initial rise in interest rates began to undermine financial asset values, a transfer of a bank deposit to a seller of a financial asset was a viable alternative. That is now an increasingly unattractive option due to the changed interest rate environment. Consequently, the principal alternative to holding bank deposits is to acquire physical assets and consumer items for future use. But even that assumes an overall stability in the public’s collective willingness to hold bank deposits, which without a significant rise in interest rates is unlikely to be the case. The reluctance of a potential seller to increase his bank deposits is already being reflected in prices for big ticket items, such as motor cars, residential property, fine and not-so-fine art, and an increasing selection of second-hand goods. This is not an environment that will respond positively to yet more currency debasement and interest rate suppression as the monetary authorities struggle to maintain control over markets. The global financial bubble is already beginning to implode, and the central banks which have accumulated large portfolios through quantitative easing are descending into negative equity. Only this week, the US Fed announced that it has unrealised portfolio losses of $330bn against equity of only $50bn. The Fed can cover this discrepancy if it is permitted by the US Treasury to revalue its gold note to current market prices – but further rises in bond yields will rapidly wipe even that out. Other central banks do not have this leeway, and in the cases of the ECB and the Bank of Japan, they are invested in considerably longer average bond maturities, which means that as interest rates rise their unrealised losses will be magnified. So, the major central banks are insolvent or close to it and will themselves have to be recapitalised. At the same time, they will be required to backstop a rapidly deteriorating economic situation. And being run by executives whose economic advisers do not understand both economics nor money itself, it all amounts to a recipe for a final cock-up crack-up boom as economic actors seek to protect themselves. As the situation unfolds and economic actors become aware of the true inadequacies of bureaucratic group-thinking central bankers, the descent into the ultimate collapse of fiat currencies could be swift. It is now the only way in which all that excess faux liquidity can be expunged. Tyler Durden Sat, 06/04/2022 - 13:30.....»»

Category: worldSource: nytJun 4th, 2022

What Happens To Markets After Peak Inflation: Goldman Answers

What Happens To Markets After Peak Inflation: Goldman Answers In recent days we have speculated that while food and energy prices are likely set to keep soaring for many months ahead, core prices especially among goods have likely peaked... ... and will trend lower over the next year, especially if our thesis that the US is about to experience a major downside shock to the labor market - one which crushes US consumer whose savings rate just hit a 14 year low as the amount of credit card debt goes vertical ... ... materializes. Finally, all of this takes place as markets have fallen sharply amid sharply higher inflation and as growth expectations slump, leading to further deceleration in the inflationary impulse. That said, it's not just us who thinks that core (if not headline, because as noted above both food and energy inflation will continue to rise for a long time) inflation has peaked: as Goldman economists write this weekend, "US inflation has probably already peaked and expect European inflation to peak in the next 2-3 months (see Exhibit 1). Even in the UK, where the inflation spike has been especially sharp, we think core inflation has peaked in April and headline will do so in October once the Energy price cap rises" To be sure, the impact of the rate tightening cycle, growth slowing and the falling out of the Y/Y numbers of some sharp rises from 2021 (autos prices for example) should all help to bring down the pace of inflation. In addition, the Y/Y growth of energy prices is moderating and semis supply is starting to ease. It is also notable that market implied inflation has started to moderate too. Overall, Goldman thinks headline inflation is likely to be peaking, which also prompts the Vampire Squid to ask "could this be a catalyst to support a turn equities?" Their answer: "it is probably more a necessary than sufficient condition." Looking at US history, Goldman identified the peaks in headline inflation going back to 1950 (the bank only took clear peaks above 3% yoy inflation and found 12 peaks above 3% prior to today.) In terms of what to expect in markets as inflation peaks, Goldman shows in the next chart that the market usually falls in the run up to the peak in headline inflation, just as we have seen in recent months. But after the peaks, there is a little more variance and on average the market does recover. Of course there are times when this didn’t happen. Goldman admits that the peak in inflation might be helpful but equities really need other supports, especially if investors fear a sharper downturn. Among these are: The economy: Interestingly the peak in inflation is often followed by a continued weak economic outlook with the ISM continuing to fall as was the case in the 50s/60s after the peak in inflation and in the mid-1980s. But as Goldman's economists note, there are some exceptions – post the late 1974 peak in inflation, the market recovered sharply and the economy did too with the ISM up 24pts in the 12 months from December 1974 (from a low of 31). The early 1990s also saw a strong rise in the ISM post the peak in inflation. Dec-74, Mar-80 and Oct-90 peaks in inflation were all good times to buy the market but they were also at or around economic troughs. There were three times when it would have been a clear mistake to buy equities at the peak in inflation: Dec-69, Jan-01 and Jul-08. In two of these cases, it was because the economy was at or about to enter recession (1969 and 2008). And while a recession after the recent inflation peak is very much assured, the $64 trillion question is what will the Fed do to offset it? Valuation: In January 2001, the market continued to fall even after the peak in inflation as the starting point for valuation was still high. In a different case, in September 2011, inflation peaked and again it was a good entry point, but this was not because the economy was about to turn, but more because valuations were low. The forward P/E on S&P 500 was 11x in late 2011. Rates: Another support for the market in the post-inflation-peak period has been falling rates – both long and short rates have typically declined – but especially at the shorter end of the curve: on average in the 12m after the peak in inflation the 2-year yield has been down 90-130bp (Exhibit 5). October 1990 is a good example of all three supports - the market rose 30% in the subsequent 12-months post the peak in inflation with the ISM rising almost 10pt and the 2-year yield falling almost 200bp. Still, as Goldman again reminds readers, "the starting point for valuation was just 11x forward EPS. A very different set-up from the one we have today." Looking across the Atlantic, the profile of European stocks is similar to the US around peaks in inflation: European markets are weak in the months preceding the peak in inflation but on average rise after inflation has peaked. Indeed, European equities typically outperform as US inflation peaks (as shown below). This may be a function of the higher beta of European equities, the UK with a lower beta tends not to outperform after inflation peaks. The fact that the UK has a large share of commodity stocks might also account for its relative resilience in the run up to inflation peaking as well. To be sure, periods of higher inflation are generally associated with lower equity valuations, which is why Goldman warns that even if inflation does come down from the peaks, assuming it stays sticky and high and is higher than last cycle then it's likely that valuations - especially in the US - won't rise to the levels we saw last cycle when inflation was lower and less volatile. This is a similar point BofA just made in an earlier post. Indeed in the 1970s the average PE in the US was 12.0 and in the UK 11.7 (based on trailing earnings). Of course, if we get a rapid reversal and inflation quickly mutates into deflation, then all bets are off. It's not just the level of inflation but the volatility of inflation too - when inflation is more volatile (spikes followed by sharp falls as growth slows) this can be even worse for equities. The uncertainty both in terms of monetary policy and margin setting make high inflation volatility generally difficult for equities to digest. The tightness of both energy and labor markets makes not just high inflation more likely but also more volatility and bigger spikes (as we have seen in gas prices for example). With all these caveats in mind, Goldman asks, rhetorically, If inflation peaks who has most to gain? It answers by pointing out that relationships with inflation are not stable over time: in the last decade, higher inflation was associated with cyclicals and value outperforming, and low inflation - which was main concern in Europe until relatively recently - was associated with underperformance. But now relationships have reversed and higher inflation has been damaging to cyclicals and value stocks (outside of commodities). This is because it has been seen as increasingly supply-side rather than demand driven and because ultimately it provides a speed-limit to growth and prevents CBs from loosening even in the event that growth is slowing. In that sense, inflation peaking should be good for cyclicals. Banks and Consumer discretionary stocks are also now sharply negatively correlated to inflation. Much depends on whether the inflation peak is seen as marking an end to the sharply rising rate expectations we have seen in recent months and ultimately providing room for CBs to loosen policy should they need to. The uncertainty around the potential paths for inflation and the likelihood of it remaining sticky and high probably mitigate against equities rallying sharply. As Goldman shows below, the bank's economists model various scenarios for inflation and in most cases - unlike just a few months ago - inflation remains sticky and high, which is precisely why we are confident in our view that the not too distant future, inflation will be replaced with deflation. Here Goldman also notes that another consideration is how much of the higher inflation we are seeing now is discounted, and cautions that consumer discretionary names remain vulnerable even as inflation moderates. While stock valuations have fallen, demand is likely to be hit by the persistent and sticky inflation and its impact on real wage growth. As the bank shows in the charts below, considering the pace of inflation and the consequent sharply negative real wage growth, the hit to consumer areas that Goldman has been looking at have seen so far still looks relatively modest. While we think that is rapidly changing in the US, where we just saw a historical plunge in new home sales and the abovementioned record jump in credit card debt coupled with tumbling savings... ... other places are looking somewhat better: consider the UK, where the available cash flow for households to spend on non-essentials (food/energy/rent) is set to decline in 4Q22/1Q23, yhet the high level of savings and still capped energy costs is cushioning consumers now the cap is set to rise further in October, higher rates will slowly feed through to higher mortgage payments and finally households will have used more of their savings by late this year/early next. With all that in mind, Goldman continues to recommend four areas in Europe: strong balance sheets, High & Stable margins and companies with exposure to a structural rise in Capex and/or government investment. Nonetheless, the bank is cautious on Consumer areas of the market and while falling inflation will be helpful, it remains of the view that "discretionary spend will take a sharp dip." Tyler Durden Sun, 05/29/2022 - 20:04.....»»

Category: dealsSource: nytMay 29th, 2022